Op-ed: Thursday there are reports that a scientific study in Canada suggests living near heavy traffic increases the risk of dementia.
The study tracked 6.6 million people and reportedly estimates one in 10 cases of Alzheimer’s among those living by busy roads could be linked to air and noise pollution.
I know. Tell us something we don't know.
The fact is that most people are well aware that noise and air pollution is bad news. Both which can cause a range of health issues are rarely addressed. Planners have a lot to answer for.
However if you jump in your car for each and every journey you must take some of the blame.
This latest research indicates that pollution particles could increase the risk of dementia.
The research stops short of laying the blame directly with heavy road traffic but it must surely be a cause for concern.
Living close to a major road with heavy traffic has obvious downsides.
In most cases it means you are living in an inner city with a wide range of other associated problems all of which could have a negative impact on your health.
Western health officials were committed enough to damn smoking but fail to step up to the mark when it comes to traffic.
In the UK in 2017 the majority of families have at least one car. Step out in any city on any day of the week or weekend and you will experience heavy traffic. Until the current love affair with the car ends air and noise pollution will continue to increase.
Would improved cycle lanes and public transport help redress the balance?
The Canadian study has been welcomed by health officials in the UK though many have been cautious.
Hong Chen, the scientist who led the work at Public Health Ontario, said:
But the jury is still out on dementia.
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