Sitting in traffic is bad for your brain!
That’s the conclusion of several new studies we’ve read about, which examined the link between breathing tailpipe fumes from cars and trucks, and the long-term affect that has on the brain.
For example: A Harvard study found that people who breathe high levels of traffic exhaust have a higher risk for Alzheimer’s disease.
Also: According to a new USC study, children born within 1-thousand feet of a major road or freeway are twice as likely to have autism, as children growing up in cleaner air environments.
And in a groundbreaking new Columbia study, researchers found that pregnant mothers living near busy freeways tend to have children who score lower on IQ tests up to 7 years after they’re born. That suggests traffic fumes may have a permanent impact on babies while they’re still in the womb!
What makes car exhaust so dangerous? Researchers say there are particles in traffic fumes that are less than one-thousandth the width of a human hair and if those particles reach they brain, they can trigger inflammation in areas involved in learning and memory.
But here’s the good news: Statistics show that today’s cars and trucks generate one-tenth of the pollution of vehicles in the 1970s. And with stricter emissions regulations, and more electric cars on the road, things will only get better.
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