According to a University of Cincinnati study, more than 30 percent of public schools are in “air pollution danger zones” within a quarter mile of major highways, reports Yahoo News.
Research shows the pollutants from automobiles can increases school children’s chances of developing respiratory diseases later in life.
“This is a major public health concern that should be given serious consideration in future urban development, transportation planning and environmental policies,” said principal investigator Sergey Grinshpun. “For many years, our focus has been on homes when it comes to air pollution. School attendance may result in a large dose of inhaled traffic pollutants that – until now – have been completely overlooked.
“Health risk can be mitigated through proper urban planning, but that doesn’t erase the immediate risk to school-age children attending schools that are too close to highways right now. Existing schools should be retrofitted with air filtration systems that will reduce students’ exposure to traffic pollutants.”
Grinshpun noted that school-age children spend more than 30 percent of their day at school.
Is your local school near a major highway? If so, does it have the proper air filtration systems to protect your children?
In related news, Medline Plus reports that living near a highway may raise a pregnant woman’s risk of premature delivery or having a low birth weight baby.
There’s no doubt about it: air pollution near highways has a profound negative impact on health.
If you live near a highway, try to avoid going outdoors during peak pollution times, and place an air purifier in your home to filter contaminants.