Using computer simulation models and roadside air pollution data, scientists assessed the impact of exposure to traffic-related air pollution in Bedford, linking ambient air pollution to 38 percent of all annual asthma cases. Twenty-four percent of the total cases were linked specifically to vehicle emissions.
Major sources of air pollution in the area include (see full chain of air pollution sources and impact graphic below):
- transportation (commercial and personal),
- industry, and
- domestic and commercial heating.
Figure: Full chain of air pollution sources and impact
Haneen Khreis, Ph.D., who led the study at the University of Leeds and is now with the Texas A&M Transportation Institute’s Center for Advancing Research in Transportation Emissions, Energy and Health (CARTEEH), said, “Traffic-related air pollution is a real concern to the community. Quantifying the number of childhood asthma cases that are directly attributable to traffic-related air pollution has not been done in the past. As we show now, a significant portion of cases is largely preventable.”
“As part of my work at CARTEEH,” Khreis said, “we are currently expanding this assessment to larger regions, including at the European level and at the contiguous United States level.”
For more information on this study, please contact Haneen Khreis at [email protected] or refer to the full paper: Khreis, M., de Hoogh, K., and Nieuwenhuijsen, M. J. Full-Chain Health Impact Assessment of Traffic-Related Air Pollution and Childhood Asthma. Environment International, March 2018. Available at https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0160412017320184.