Dangers of fine particulate traffic pollution

U.S. News & World Report: "The Smallest of Pollutants Are Linked to Outsize Health Risks" Sitting in traffic triples a person's short-term heart-attack risk. Living in a city with heavy air pollution such as Los Angeles is as risky for the heart as being a former smoker. And having a house near a highway ups the risk of hardened arteries by some 60 percent. In each case, tiny "ultrafine" particles in the air may be a key culprit.

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Wig Zamore’s remarks to the EPA on Particulate Matter

STEP’s Wig Zamore spoke to the EPA’s Clean Air Scientific Advisory Committee and Particulate Matter (PM) Panel last Friday, where the topic was the proposed EPA framework for the next national PM standard setting process.
Identification: My name is Wig Zamore. I speak as a concerned citizen and live in Somerville, Massachusetts where I work with two all volunteer community groups, the Mystic View Task Force and Somerville Transportation Equity Partnership. I also serve on regional land use and transportation planning committees, have presented to the Massachusetts Clean Air (SIP) Steering Committee and represent the City of Somerville on Mass DPH and FAA committees concerned with airport related emissions, health and noise impacts.
Major PM Review Concern: My overwhelming concern is consideration of the impacts of large regional transportation systems on adjacent neighborhoods’ health, including but not limited to chronic mortality impacts from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, ischemic heart disease and lung cancer. And how this gets into your framework as the methods for that are unclear.


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Connecting near-highway pollutants with health problems

A new article on the health risks of near-highway pollution is available from a team at Tufts. From the conclusion: "The most susceptible (and overlooked) population in the US subject to serious health effects from air pollution may be those who live very near major regional transportation routes, especially highways." Boston Now: "Tufts researchers warning it can be dangerous to live near highways" "One California study indicated children who live near a highway from under the age of two may be 70 to 80 percent more likely to develop asthma." Read the original article: "Near-highway pollutants in motor vehicle exhaust: A review of epidemiologic evidence of cardiac and pulmonary health risks."

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Hearing on the health effects of particulate matter

This morning there was a hearing on a bill sponsored by Denise Provost that would explore the health effects of particulate matter, which is suspended particles in tailpipe exhaust. House Bill 2227 would have the Department of Public Health conduct a study on the health effects of this type of pollution, including mapping the distribution and concentration of particulate matter aorund high-traffic roadways and rail lines. A growing body of scientific evidence links high exposure to particulates to substantially increased risks of pulmonary disease - including COPD and lung cancer - and cardiovascular disease - including heart attack and stroke. Men and women living close to major roads are at increased risk of premature death. Children growing up near highways often suffer impaired lung function, are more likely to develop asthma, and suffer…

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