Another Reason to Dislike Red Lights

Hate stopping at red lights? Not only is it frustrating, but as it turns out, it’s also bad for your health.Modern_British_LED_Traffic_Light

According to a study in the Atmospheric Environment published by the United Kingdom’s University of Surrey, when drivers stop at a traffic light, they are exposed to toxic nanoparticles emitted from vehicles around them. The nanoparticles are known factors in a variety of heart and respiratory diseases.

A Fox News article has spotlighted this recent finding, noting these researchers found that while a driver spends just 2 percent of his or her total driving time at signal-controlled intersections, that amount of time accounts for 25 percent of total exposure to such particles while in the car.

Even pedestrians crossing intersections should be cautious of the particles emitted from cars. When drivers rev their engines as the lights turn green, they are completely exposed to the pollution source.

The concentration of these harmful particles were found to be 29 times higher at stoplights during heavy traffic and rush hour as opposed to when the traffic is flowing without difficulty.

In order to avoid what seems unavoidable to most of us in first-world countries, the study recommends that drivers keep vehicle windows shut, with fans off, and to increase the distance between cars.

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