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Cyclists are 'unaware of the risks from pollution'

CrapaudCrapaud Posts: 2,666
edited February 2011 in The bottom bracket
Cyclists are 'unaware of the risks from pollution'
Minimise risk
In the cycling community, there are many ongoing discussions on different cycling web sites that suggest ways to minimise risk.

These include finding alternative routes away from high density commuter traffic and major public transport routes, avoiding congested roads and utilising cycle paths and tracks and finding routes that offer some shielding from air pollution - eg trees.

Also, don't get stuck behind a bus or find yourself travelling downwind of vehicle's exhaust fumes and when stopping at traffic lights or a major junction, move out in front of the stationary motor vehicles so you are not inhaling the plume of exhaust fumes and by monitoring air quality in your area.

Public health is all about investigating and identifying ways to minimise risk but it's also about common sense. It is important that we consider what measures could be adopted to try and protect cyclists' airway function. ...
Is this the opening salvo to ban cyclists from the road?

ISTM that this story is the same precursor to other bans and regulations - ie. scaremongering.- that has led to calls for restrictions in smoking, fatty foods, salt, sunbeds etc. You can be sure toe solution will not be to ban or restrict traffic.

The health police, "It's for your own good. We have to protect you from yourself."
A fanatic is one who can’t change his mind and won’t change the subject - Churchill

Posts

  • tx14tx14 Posts: 244
    I don't think the air cyclist breathe is all that different from from a driver on the same road. are the filters on a car that great? what about the pedestrian that walks the same path?
    I really don't think there is a problem unless you stick you nose up an exhaust, why would anyone do that anyway? and if that don't work, we are all fecked, cyclists, drivers or peds.
  • downfaderdownfader Posts: 3,686
    The pollution thing being specific or worse to cyclists is completely unproven as yet. Even the study the linked to said so.

    Keep calm, carry on...

    There are some reasonable masks now, if people are that worried - wear a mask. I dont see the point myself, I have mild asthma and suffer no real effects from it, I see plenty of drivers coughing their lungs up so I'm inclined to think that maybe the experience of forcing the air out in the exhertion of it all does something to counter.

    I know from hayfever that I cough and sneeze to remove the particles of pollen that cause irritation. I could imagine similar happens with the soot and other particles from exhausts.
  • tebbittebbit Posts: 604
    Wasn't there a study that showed motor vehicles due to the drafting effect create pollution tunnels, and that these tunnels were very limited, ie that a cyclist could be a metre away but unaffected. What next worries about residual risk due to asbestosis due to back ground asbestos fibres from old brake pads on motor vehicles?
  • downfaderdownfader Posts: 3,686
    The advise is daft, though I dont know if its a "get oif ma road" kind of statement. I mean from my knowledge most offroad cycle routes are actually right next to or parallel with the road anyway.
  • MichaelWMichaelW Posts: 2,226
    I tried to look up the author Amanda Dryer but all I found was a domestic appliance (with stainless steel drum!!)
  • ddraverddraver Posts: 21,111
    You re not really giving the whole story there - she says a few times that the benefits outweigh the positives and that car/bus users may well be worse off
    ...move out in front of the stationary motor vehicles so you are not inhaling the plume of exhaust fumes...."

    I quite like that idea anyway for the visibility if nothing else...goos excuse!
    We're in danger of confusing passion with incompetence
    - @ddraver
  • StillGoingStillGoing Posts: 5,207
    Crapaud wrote:
    ISTM that this story is the same precursor to other bans and regulations - ie. scaremongering.- that has led to calls for restrictions in smoking, fatty foods, salt, sunbeds etc. You can be sure toe solution will not be to ban or restrict traffic.

    The health police, "It's for your own good. We have to protect you from yourself."

    :lol: Some people really are verging on paranoia.
    I ride a bike. Doesn't make me green or a tree hugger. I drive a car too.
  • Sirius631Sirius631 Posts: 1,015
    It has been proved that road polution is concentrated within the passenger cell of cars, probably because the air within the car is relatively static W.R.T. the air outside.
    To err is human, but to make a real balls up takes a super computer.
  • nwallacenwallace Posts: 1,465
    Never noticed a problem when breathing while cycling, but that's in a reasonably low pollution city (Dundee) where there are I think 3 streets where the pollution is considered "dangerous" now last time I was in London even walking through Hyde Park I was noticing a difference in my breathing and the visible dirtiness of the air.

    Answer is simple, move to a better city...

    :P
    Do Nellyphants count?

    Commuter: FCN 9
    Cheapo Roadie: FCN 5
    Off Road: FCN 11

    +1 when I don't get round to shaving for x days
  • This piece is part of the view that cycling is strenuous and requires enormous exertion. Whilst the fact is that on the level, at moderate speed, it is no more effort than walking. So for every area which has bad pollution, the cyclist passes through it in a shorter time than a pedestrian. Better still, the cyclist is taking in air that is about 1.5M above the ground, (excuse me for ignoring all you 'bent riders out there, c'mon, you are used to it); the air intake on most cars is less than a metre off the ground. The worst pollutants fall, work it out for yourselves.
    The older I get the faster I was
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