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Living Near Busy Streets Increases Your Health Risks

Analysis by Dr. Joseph Mercola Fact Checked

living near busy streets health risks

Story at-a-glance -

  • Living near a busy road or highway increases the risk of non-Alzheimer’s dementia and Parkinson’s disease, but researchers found a protective effect for living near green spaces
  • Neurological diseases are on the rise: In 2016 globally they were the leading loss of disability-adjusted life-years
  • Exposure to particulate matter in air pollution increases the risk of depression and suicide, reduces cognitive performance and deposits along damaged or inflamed blood vessels
  • The greatest number of rising pedestrian deaths occur on busy streets and intersections; in these same locations you have an increased risk of high levels of air pollution in your car
  • Take precautions when walking to stay alert and put down your smartphone. While driving on busy streets or stopping at red lights switch the ventilation to recirculate to reduce exposure to fine particulate pollution

Air pollution is insidious. It doesn't respect borders and can travel thousands of miles. In fact, much of the smog experienced on the west coast of the U.S. is the result of pollution produced in Asian countries — at times outpacing whatever decreases the U.S. achieves. The Lancet Commission on air pollution and health found:

"Pollution is the largest environmental cause of disease and premature death in the world today. Diseases caused by pollution were responsible for an estimated 9 million premature deaths in 2015 — 16% of all deaths worldwide — three times more deaths than from AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria combined and 15 times more than from all wars and other forms of violence."

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