I saw on the news one day, residents of a town kicking up a stink about freight trucks detouring through their neighborhood. One of their issues was noise pollution: the groaning sound of trucks rumbling by and downshifting gears at all hours of the day and night. The other issue, the primary issue, was air pollution. They showed a lady wiping her finger over her mailbox to reveal a sticky black layer of pollution. Unless you live in a filtered air bubble, this is what you inhale into your lungs in greater or lesser degree.
A study was conducted at the University of Edinburgh, which found that exposure to diesel fumes could increase the likelihood of a heart attack or stroke. The study was done on 20 male volunteers who had previously recovered from a heart attack. In a closely monitored environment, the volunteers were exposed to diesel fumes while riding an exercise bike in an environment that was similar to what someone would face while driving in traffic. Although they weren’t able to pinpoint the reason why, or what element in the diesel is responsible, the study found that exposure to the diesel fumes starved the heart of oxygen and interfered with the body’s ability to break down blood clots.
Every time I see a truck I imagine the layer of film on that mailbox and look frantically around for a gas mask, and then curse myself for leaving it in my other purse. Ok, that might be an exaggeration… but only just. I hope everybody is looking after their health; the odds are “smogging” up against us.