Stephen Rees's blog

Thoughts about the relationships between transport and the urban area it serves

Spatial variations in estimated chronic exposure to traffic-related air pollution in working populations – A simulation

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7th Space interactive

With a title like that I would be surprised if it gets much attention.

The data comes from Greater Vancouver and the source is “Author: Eleanor M Setton, C. Peter Keller, Denise Cloutier-Fisher and Perry W Hystad : International Journal of Health Geographics 2008, 7:39”

But the main point I want to make is that if there is a real hard nugget of information in all of this, you need to be a scientist to understand it. I re-read it several times with a growing respect for journalists who make a living explaining scientific journal articles to the general public.  I think the message might be that how you get to work is not really significant in terms of pollution exposure (at least in the case of the one pollutant they looked at – nitrogen dioxide) as you spend longer at home and at work than you do in commuting. So we need to be concerned more about air quality at home and work than outside. Which makes me wonder who paid for this research. It is one thing if it is “pure research” – it is quite something else if the money came from an oil company or a car manufacturer.

It is also probably worth noting that if you run Google alerts, you come up with some quite unexpected sources.

Written by Stephen Rees

July 19, 2008 at 8:33 am

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