STI Scientist Reviews Traffic Pollution and Health Impacts
Fred Lurmann, STI’s Manager of Exposure Assessment Studies and President Emeritus, assisted the Health Effects Institute (HEI) with its landmark 2010 publication, Traffic-Related Air Pollution: A Critical Review of the Literature on Emissions, Exposure, and Health Effects. In January 2007, the HEI Board of Directors appointed an expert panel to review and critique the scientific literature on the human health effects of exposure to emissions from motor vehicles. The panel, which included Mr. Lurmann, consisted of scientists from a variety of disciplines and was chaired by Ira Tager, a professor of epidemiology at the University of California, Berkeley. Among the study’s many important findings, the HEI expert review panel found that
- Zones most impacted by traffic-related pollution are up to 300 to 500 meters from highways and other major roads.
- For large North American cities, 30% to 45% of the population lives within the most impacted near-road zone.
- Evidence was sufficient to support a causal relationship between exposure to traffic-related pollution and aggravation of asthma among children.