If you live within a mile and a half of a major freeway, listen up: freeway pollution is probably seeping into your home and compromising the health of you and your family. A new study out of California indicates that, especially in the predawn hours, freeway pollution can extend as far as 1.5 miles away. This news serves to highlight increasing concerns that doctors, scientists and researchers have regarding air pollution and the daily exposure that people have to it. It also demonstrates that the problem exists for more than just those living within sight of a major freeway, and that more people are affected than previously believed.
About the Freeway Air Pollution Study
The study in question was conducted by researchers at UCLA, the University of Southern California and the California Air Resources Board. Their findings were published recently in an issue of Atmospheric Environment, a prominent scientific journal. The primary person in charge of the study was Dr. Arthur Winer, a member of UCLA’s School of Public Health. He and his team conducted the primary research to gauge how far afield freeway air pollution actually went by taking a close look at local freeway Interstate 10 in Santa Monica CA.
Using an electric car that doesn’t emit its own pollution, researchers used special equipment to measure the presence of various kinds of air pollution. Of primary concern were ultrafine particles (UFP) which can easily make their way into nearby homes. The researchers examined the air near the freeway in both the winter and the summer, and focused their attention on the predawn hours between 4am and 7am. What they discovered was incredibly surprising, and raises a lot of additional concerns about air quality in and around America’s freeways.
Results showed that, despite the lower volume of traffic during that early time of day, pollution extended ten times further than previously believed. Indeed, researchers measured air pollution from freeway traffic as far as 1.5 miles away. The weather patterns unique to the predawn hours contribute to this effect, bottling up pollution and making it more highly concentrated. The problem was also shown to be worse in the winter, when the sun rises later. Although researchers expected to find a certain level of air pollution, the extent of it – and how far it extended – surprised them a great deal and flied in the face of previous beliefs about highway air pollution.
Ramifications of the Study
The California study highlights the fact that people are exposed to more air pollution than they realize, even while in their homes. Ultrafine particles easily slip through cracks in the home, and if you live within a mile and a half of a major freeway, the problem is probably worse than you thought. This contributes to the existing poor indoor air quality and exposes the inhabitants of a home to increased health problems including heart diseases and can exacerbate existing respiratory conditions. Even if you can’t see or hear the freeway from where you live, there’s a good chance that its pollution is affecting the health of you and your family.
What can you do about the problem? Beyond moving far away, HEPA air purifiers are the best line of defense against ultrafine air pollution caused by freeway traffic. Running a quality HEPA air purifier in your home not only helps provide allergy and asthma relief, but it can shield you and your family from the harmful effects of freeway pollution. Doctors recommend keeping windows closed at night and avoiding going outside during the predawn hours; however, HEPA air purifiers are the best and most practical way to keep harmful pollutants from infecting the air in your home.
HEPA Air Purifiers Mitigate Freeway Air Pollution
Although the study out of California is concerning, there are things that you can do about it. Whether you live near a freeway or not, HEPA air purifiers can remove up to 99.97% of indoor air pollutants from the air you and your family breathe. Clean Air Plus provides a comprehensive line of high quality HEPA air cleaners that can make the air in your home as clean, healthy and breathable as possible. Whether you live within sight of a major freeway – or anywhere – our HEPA air cleaners can help.
Don’t just sit back and accept the worrisome news out of California – do something about it by using a HEPA air purifier. You’ll rest much easier knowing that the pollution generated by hoards of traffic clogging nearby freeways isn’t being inhaled by you or your family; order today and breathe easier tomorrow.
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