Stop Driving not just for the Environment, but for health: Car Drivers Breathe More Smog

Cars on highway Photo

Photo: Marc Lostracco.

We all know that driving is bad for the environment, but did you know that it can also be bad for your health?

A new study by the Mexican National Ecology Institute (INE, in Spanish) concludes that car drivers are more exposed to smog than public transport passengers, mainly because of the car's lower height and poorer ventilation.

More details in the extended.According to El Universal, a study by the INE says car drivers breathe the most amount of contaminants when they are driving through Mexico City's avenues in comparison with people who ride in public transport. And are, therefore, more exposed to getting respiratory problems.

The cause for this? The car's lower height, which leaves the driver at the same level than the other vehicle's exhaust pipes. Also, the fact that drivers who ride alone travel usually with one window open or half-down, which makes ventilation difficult.

After car drivers, the people who breathe more contaminants are people who wait for busses at regular stops and only then, passengers of public transport.

Even when this data is from a study that took place at Mexico City, which is per se one of the cities with worst air pollution in the world, it makes total sense for other places. Almost everywhere, buses are usually way above ground and subways, well, obviously below ground. And drivers remain at the worst possible height in the streets.

What to do? First is obvious: improve the ventilation of your vehicle when you're driving. Then (our favorite), try and leave the car home and take public transport to work at least once a week.

More at El Universal - in Spanish (article found via TuVerde).

More on cars and public transit:
How to Go Green: Cars
Take Mass Transit Instead of Driving
Top 7 Fun, Healthy, and Green Warm Weather Alternatives to Driving

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