Air pollution is such a big health risk and yet most of us are completely oblivious to it. Perhaps this new piece of information from a study performed at the University of Surrey would compel us to finally become aware of this huge problem.
Although it isn’t new, air pollution is carcinogenic and being stuck in traffic jams regularly can contribute to this issue. In fact, pollution levels inside vehicles that are not moving due to traffic may be higher than other cars that are moving along the roads.
Traffic Jam Instances that Could Lead to Cancer
There are different situations you could be involved in while in traffic jams, but the biggest problem is when we sit in the car with closed windows, but the fans remain running. This causes the fan to draw in dirty air coming from outside the vehicle to the inside where people are comfortably sitting, not knowing there’s a health risk cycling around.
As a result, pollutants are accumulated in the car. Exposure to toxic fumes while in a traffic jam is almost unavoidable. With the cars all around you, it’s almost impossible not to inhale dirty air. This not only increases health problems, but may also up your risk of getting lung cancer.
Thankfully, there are some ways to remedy the situation, such as:
- Change the settings of the fan, which will allow it to recirculate air inside the car without sucking pollutants from the outside.
- Keep the windows rolled up.
- As much as possible, don’t use the fan.
- Try to increase the distance between your car and the vehicle in front of you to reduce the toxic fumes you could inhale.
- If you’re continually exposed to air pollution, detox as much as you can such as by drinking detox juices.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has already recognized air pollution as carcinogenic to humans and is one of the 10 health risks for people living in urban areas. Air pollution has many noted negative effects for our health, including:
- Aggravated respiratory and cardiovascular disease
- Added stress to both our heart and lungs, since they must work harder to circulate oxygen to the body
- May damage the cells in our respiratory system
The health problem worsens if getting stuck in traffic jams become a regular occurrence as this can accelerate aging of lungs and may contribute to reduced or loss of lung capacity. Asthma, emphysema, and bronchitis are among the diseases that a person may develop aside from cancer. All in all, traffic jams and exposure to air pollution in general can shorten our lifespan.