NYC Healthcare News

Study explores physical effect of freeway pollution on brain cells

March 07, 2016

The authors hope to conduct follow-up studies on issues such as:

Memory functions in animals exposed to freeway particulates, Effects on development of mice exposed prenatally, Lifespan of exposed animals, Interaction of particulates with other components of smog, such as heat and ozone, Potential for recovery between periods of exposure, Comparison of effects from artificially and naturally occurring nanoparticles, Chemical interactions between freeway particulates and brain cells.

If further studies confirm that freeway particulates pose a human health hazard, solutions will be hard to find.

Even an all-electric car culture would not solve the problem on its own, Finch said.

"It would certainly sharply decrease the local concentration of nanoparticles, but then at present electrical generation still depends upon other combustion processes - coal - that in a larger environment contribute nanoparticles anyway.

"It's a long-term global project to reduce the amount of nanoparticles around the world. Whether we clean up our cars, we still have to clean up our power generation."

Source: University of Southern California