Around the world, outdoor air pollution causes approximately ] 4.5 million deaths per year. Exposure to air pollution has been linked to increases in hospital admissions and deaths from cardiovascular diseases, respiratory diseases and lung cancer. A key culprit is automobiles, since emissions from gasoline and diesel vehicles are one of the main sources of pollutants such as nitrogen dioxide and particulates.
"For many people, like the elderly or people with chronic diseases, the only exercise they can do is walk," Chung said. He said he believes that the results of the new study, carried out in London, would be replicable in many North American and European cities. He also said that the impacts are likely to be applied to other age groups, but more studies are needed.
The report calls for stricter air quality limits, better traffic control measures and greater access to green spaces. Chung also said the study indicated that people should avoid congested and occupied areas whenever possible and opt for green spaces instead. He acknowledged that it can be difficult, and expensive, for those who live or work in cities of the interior.
"Our hope is that this study will add to the evidence that city leaders should contribute to policies that encourage the preservation of green spaces," said Jim Zhang, professor of global health and environmental of Duke and co-author of the study.
He added: "As economic growth and urbanization occur throughout the world, many cities are left with very little green space. … People like outdoor exercise. We should provide them with spaces to allow, instead of having no choice but to walk and cycle through crowded and polluted streets. "
Brooke Havlik, communications director of the organization without WE ACT for environmental justice, said that far from improving the situation, the United States is retreating to the federal level when it comes to combating air pollution.
"The administrator of The Environmental Protection Administration and Trump Scott Pruitt is actively working to dismantle critical public health and clean air protections, "he said.
Poor air quality is creating a public health crisis in the US UU., Said Natalie Nava, project leader in the environmental group Greenpeace USA
She pointed out that although the Obama administration proposed higher fuel efficiency standards s strict for vehicles that fight air pollution, since President Donald Trump took office, "automotive companies have been pushing … for these standards to be restored."
"While the automakers Americans take over fuel standards and other sustainability regulations, are showing that they care more about their short-term financial interests than about the long-term benefits to public health, the planet, and even the economy, "he said.
To get more content and be part of the "This New World" community, join our Facebook Group.