Smog, record pollution in the subways

Smog, record pollution in the subways

Smog and particulate matter, subways have record levels that are harmful to health: this is revealed by a US study.

Commuters who make frequent use of the metropolitan for their travel they could be exposed to high levels of pollution gives smog. This is what emerges from a new study conducted in the United States, by the Grossman School of Medicine of the University of New York.

At the moment it is not known whether the data collected find similar comparisons also in Europe, where the construction of underground transport lines follows different architectural logics. But the stars and stripes research is still important to start analyzing a still largely unknown phenomenon, which could have dangerous effects on salute man.

Smog and pollution in the subway

The researchers analyzed the pollution levels present on the subway platforms during rush hour, analyzing data from 71 stations in cities like Boston, New York, Philadelphia and Washington. The surveys revealed worrying levels not only of smog, but also and above all of ultra-fine particulate matter: the PM 2.5, the most dangerous for health as it overcomes the barriers of the bronchi reaching the lungs.

On average, these cities see outside concentrations of 35 micrograms of PM 2.5 per cubic meter. Going down on the subway, however, these levels increase significantly: the two most contaminated locations, New York and Washington, register respectively 251 and 145 micrograms per cubic meter. There are also substantial differences between one stop and another: in the Christopher Street station in Manhattan, the levels are well 1,499 micrograms, equal to 77 times more than outside.

Most of the smog and particulate matter could come from the outside, since the difference in height of the underground stops could generate specific currents, transforming the stations into real “aspirators” of contaminants. But on the PM 2.5 front, the brakes of convoys, the rubbing of the wheels on tracks, rubber and dock cover materials and much more. Terry Gordon, teacher behind the study, commented:

On Cristopher Street we found the worst contamination ever measured in a metro station, much higher than the worst days in cities like Beijing or Delhi. It was amazing, my colleagues felt irritation in their airways in just over an hour. […] New Yorkers, in particular, should be concerned about the toxins they inhale.

According to experts, daily exposure to pollution levels such as those found in New York could increase the risk of developing by 10-20%. respiratory problems e cardiovascular.

Source: Guardian


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