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Saturday, June 14, 2008

Another Hidden Cost of Auto Dependency

LIVING NEAR MAJOR ROAD INCREASES ALLERGIES, ASTHMA IN CHILDREN
 
DAILY GREEN  A study of nearly 6,000 children in Munich has found that children are much more likely to develop asthma, allergies and skin rashes if they live near major roads. Vehicle tailpipes emit nitrogen oxides, volatile organic chemicals and fine particulates (soot). While U.S. laws have cracked down on the worst polluters, diesel engines, air quality near major roads is known to be worse than in other areas. . . 
 
Those children living within about 165 feet of a major road had a 50% greater chance of developing allergies. "We consistently found strong associations between the distance to the nearest main road and the allergic disease outcomes," Heinrich wrote.  "Children living closer than 50 meters to a busy street had the highest probability of getting allergic symptoms, compared to children living further away."