More evidence that traffic pollution affects health

Separate research teams at the University of Southern California, Columbia University and Harvard University in the U.S, as well as scientists in the Netherlands, have made a number of discoveries recently. *

In the new studies, scientists and researchers are trying to determine if exposure to traffic exhaust can affect the human brain. Although the evidence is considered to be circumstantial today, the general consensus is that there is a cause for concern.

For example, it has been determined that breathing normal city air with high levels of vehicle exhaust for 90 days can change the way genes turn on or off among the elderly. Older men and women exposed to higher levels of traffic-related particles and ozone had memory and reasoning problems that added the equivalent of five years to their mental age.

Carbon particles have already been linked to heart disease, cancer and respiratory ailments. Now they are suspected of injuring brain cells and affecting learning and memory function.

High levels of traffic exhaust can also leave a molecular mark on the genome of newborns for life. Researchers in New York, Boston, Beijing and Krakow (Poland) found that children affected by high levels of emissions performed more poorly on intelligence tests and were more likely to be depressed or anxious, or experience attention problems, compared to children growing up in cleaner air.

Filters for urban pollution

These new studies confirm that poor air is a growing problem in cities at the same time as requirements for better indoor air quality are becoming stricter.

Camfil Farr is addressing this issue by developing and supplying the “City” series, a range of molecular air filters for the air handling systems of buildings in densely populated cities. These products are designed specifically to deal with growing urban pollution since they manage both particle and molecular filtration in a single filter.

For more information about the City series, click below (links):

City-Flo XL

CityCarb®

City-Flo®

CitySorb®

*Reported in an article titled “The Hidden Toll of Traffic Jams,” published in the Wall Street Journal in November 2011.

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