City cyclists inhale double the soot, research says.- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    City cyclists inhale double the soot, research says.

    25 September 2011 Last updated at 09:09 ET.

    City cyclists inhale double the soot, research says. The researchers tested five cyclists and five pedestrians
    London cyclists inhale more than double the amount of black carbon, or soot, than pedestrians, research suggests.

    The study by Prof Jonathan Grigg from Barts and the London School of Medicine, showed the cyclists had 2.3 times more inhaled soot than walkers.

    Evidence suggests breathing in black carbon could lead to heart problems and reduced lung function.

    The findings are to presented to the European Respiratory Society's annual congress in Amsterdam.

    "Our data strongly suggest that personal exposure to black carbon should be considered when planning cycling routes” In the study, researchers tested five adults who regularly cycled to work in London, and five pedestrians for inhaled soot particles, which are created by motor vehicle exhausts.

    All participants in the study were non-smoking, healthy commuters aged between 18 and 40.

    Dr Chinedu Nwokoro, one of the researchers of the study and an active cyclist, said: "The results of this study have shown that cycling in a large European city increases exposure to black carbon.

    "This could be due to a number of factors including the fact that cyclists breathe more deeply and at a quicker rate than pedestrians while in closer proximity to exhaust fumes, which could increase the number of airborne particles penetrating the lungs.

    "Our data strongly suggest that personal exposure to black carbon should be considered when planning cycling routes.

    "Whether cycling by healthy individuals is in itself associated with adverse health effects is currently being assessed in a larger ongoing study."

    from BBC News - City cyclists inhale double the soot, research says.

  2. #2
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    doesn't sound like a big study, but it would cycling in Los Angeles or New York must be brutal on your lungs. also vary from one city to another.

  3. #3
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    What do we want soot for? Wake me up when some kind of cycling provides free nicotine and I`ll be in

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    so thats why you can buy bike masks downtown... interesting.

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    Yeah but how many of them have to deal with the foulness of inhaling the rotting remains of multiple dead deer on thier commute? At least soot doesn't taste like death.
    You have no excuse for driving to work
    (unless you don't have studded tires)
    (no excuse for that either)

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    Canada's air among the world's best: WHO report - CTV News

    Course there has to be PM10 in the air to cause the problem in the first place.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jeffscott View Post
    Canada's air among the world's best: WHO report - CTV News

    Course there has to be PM10 in the air to cause the problem in the first place.
    hehehe...as long as you're not in Alberta or BC during forest fire season
    As if four times wasn't enough-> Psycho Mike's 2013 Ride to Conquer Cancer Page

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    Quote Originally Posted by Psycho Mike View Post
    hehehe...as long as you're not in Alberta or BC during forest fire season
    That would mean that forest and MTB riders would get the worst of it, not city riders.

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    Crime on a cracker, I can't win. I don't drive because traffic causes, the subterrainian trains make me sick, mold allergies. But now cycling will kill me because of soot. Why do I avoid red meat and liquor?

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    it's a good thing our government is hard at work dismantling the epa

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    After a while of reading news stories, you start to gain a sense of when they're leaving important details out.
    1. Why just "black soot" - why do they mysteriously not mention other pollutants?
    2. Did the walkers walk the same route the bikers did? Or is it a result of choosing different routes?
    3. What is the comparison to drivers doing the same route?
    4. Why where there only 10 people in the study?
    5. What produces black soot - here in the us where there's almost no diesel, would I even have to worry about it?

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    Caution;  Merge;  Workers Ahead!

    Brake dust is another culprit to think about....

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by PaulRivers View Post
    After a while of reading news stories, you start to gain a sense of when they're leaving important details out.
    1. Why just "black soot" - why do they mysteriously not mention other pollutants?
    2. Did the walkers walk the same route the bikers did? Or is it a result of choosing different routes?
    3. What is the comparison to drivers doing the same route?
    4. Why where there only 10 people in the study?
    5. What produces black soot - here in the us where there's almost no diesel, would I even have to worry about it?
    1. the study focused on soot. Fine particulates are known to cause problems, they are relatively easy to measure, and analysis of samples is pretty easy. That's not necessarily the case with other pollutants which might pose problems by acting on DNA or other biochemical processes on their own or after they react with other substances in the atmosphere or in the body.

    2. that's a good question. the fact that it's not presented here may just be another case of uneducated journalists reporting on science they don't understand, so they almost never mention the methods in news articles. it appears this study was presented at a conference, so it MIGHT appear in the conference proceedings. I found the abstract in the conference proceedings, so that's the best we get. It looks like this is indeed a case of poor reporting. Seems the study was focused on describing a new method of measuring internal dose of soot, not specifically with comparing cycle commuters with other commuters. That's why the sample size was small. They wanted to know if this method provided consistent results in a small study before utilizing it in larger, more expensive studies. It pays to go to the source of these journalist-diluted studies.

    3. drivers were not compared.

    4. preliminary study testing a new method of measuring internal dose.

    5. all combustion produces soot. even gasoline. particulates are classified in different groups. PM10 and PM2.5. The aforementioned study does not define particulate size of the soot they measured. I'm going to assume they measured both types, because it mentions "inhaled" particulates and anything smaller than 10μm can be inhaled. But generally speaking, soot from diesel exhaust is going to have a lot of larger particles, or PM10, while gasoline exhaust will have less PM10 and consist mostly of PM2.5. The smaller particulates can be considered more dangerous in some senses because they are inhaled more deeply. any more than that would be pure speculation and the PM concentrations in the air along different routes would need to be measured as part of a larger study to "standardize" the internal exposure measurements given in this study. it may wind up being the case that there is a significant difference in route use by cyclists and pedestrians that accounts for the variation shown in this study, and that when accounting for that route choice by also modeling PM concentrations in the air of the routes chosen, there would be no difference between cyclists and pedestrians. we really just don't know. but that absolutely is worth studying.

    not sure where you live and commute, but there's plenty of diesel exhaust where I live. granted, here in TX it seems every other pickup truck is diesel-fueled, but there's all of the delivery trucks, there's heavy equipment used in construction (not required to have the same emissions as the pickup trucks which are less still than the cars with diesel engines - not sure how they compare to emissions standards for European small cars and trucks), and lots of ag equipment that runs on diesel. the individual components of particulate matter will probably vary between US and European cities, but it's still an issue here.

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    *NEWS FLASH* - doctors have determined that breathing can be harmful to your health and 100% of all people who breathe on a regular basis will eventually die...

    I think I'll just ignore these studies and keep riding my bike...

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    Quote Originally Posted by woodway View Post
    *NEWS FLASH* - doctors have determined that breathing can be harmful to your health and 100% of all people who breathe on a regular basis will eventually die...

    I think I'll just ignore these studies and keep riding my bike...
    I think I might understand better why you see pictures of Japanese wearing masks....and in Hong Kong etc.

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    Quote Originally Posted by woodway View Post
    *NEWS FLASH* - doctors have determined that breathing can be harmful to your health and 100% of all people who breathe on a regular basis will eventually die...

    I think I'll just ignore these studies and keep riding my bike...
    I don't let it change my behavior, but it's important to be aware of. you are doing yourself an everyone else a disservice by ignoring it completely because we are all exposed to vehicle exhaust and combustion byproducts on a daily basis. this is why emissions standards are important. yes, higher emissions standards make it cost more to buy a car and probably indirectly result in higher fuel prices. but I'd rather pay more there than pay more treating illness caused by higher emissions. those costs can add up a helluva lot faster.

    I am earning my master's degree in environmental science so I probably know more about this stuff than the average person cares, anyway.

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    Quote Originally Posted by NateHawk View Post

    I am earning my master's degree in environmental science so I probably know more about this stuff than the average person cares, anyway.
    What is your specific area of research?

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    Quote Originally Posted by NateHawk View Post
    I don't let it change my behavior, but it's important to be aware of. you are doing yourself an everyone else a disservice by ignoring it completely because we are all exposed to vehicle exhaust and combustion byproducts on a daily basis. this is why emissions standards are important. yes, higher emissions standards make it cost more to buy a car and probably indirectly result in higher fuel prices. but I'd rather pay more there than pay more treating illness caused by higher emissions. those costs can add up a helluva lot faster.

    I am earning my master's degree in environmental science so I probably know more about this stuff than the average person cares, anyway.
    The move away from TEL (Tetraethyl lead) to MTBE to is-octane....has significantly increased the price of fuel....

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    Quote Originally Posted by in2theforest View Post
    What is your specific area of research?
    I'm fairly multidisciplinary. currently studying the effects of landcover change on mammalian mesocarnivores.

    in the past I've done a good bit of groundwater monitoring, some environmental education relating to biodiversity and watershed conservation, and endangered species monitoring. I'm more interested in big picture ecological stuff.

    The move away from TEL (Tetraethyl lead) to MTBE to is-octane....has significantly increased the price of fuel....
    true...not such an indirect effect. I was thinking about the indirect effect of increasing fuel economy in cars reducing demand for fuel stateside and supporting higher gasoline prices when I wrote that. regardless, I know very intimately that the cost of treating health problems due to environmental exposures can rapidly outstrip lifetime expenditures on cars and fuel for the average person (not talking about supercars and the cost of using them and keeping them fueled, of course).

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    Quote Originally Posted by NateHawk View Post
    I'm fairly multidisciplinary. currently studying the effects of landcover change on mammalian mesocarnivores.

    in the past I've done a good bit of groundwater monitoring, some environmental education relating to biodiversity and watershed conservation, and endangered species monitoring. I'm more interested in big picture ecological stuff.
    That's great Nate! I'm been working in horticulture for several years but currently near completion of a BS in biology. I plan to work on a masters in ecology. I'm interested in the big picture as well.

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    Yeah, this sucks. I'm assuming that it's worst in an inner city situation where cyclist are riding on the same roads as stacked up traffic. Hopefully it's less of an issue for suburban/country commuters that can get on side streets, bike paths green belts etc.

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    Be thankful the EPA has had some impact. Imagine cycling in Beijing. They are not just protecting against Bird Flu with those filter masks!

    BrianMc

    PS There is tendency for diesel pickup drivers here to richen their injection levels to the point of black smoke when accelerating. That belches out a plume of soot immediately to their right. Where I am trying to breathe. I get very un-Christian thoughts with a distinct lack of mercy and forgiveness when it appears they have done so on purpose for a laugh. To be stupid is human, to endanger others as some sort of testosterone poisoning, is a form of assault.

    Thanks for letting me vent. It likely saved the state the cost of my incarceration.

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    I've been to China a couple of times and I would have to say that our environment "looks" pristine compared to what I saw in some large cities. The visibility was anywhere from 1/2 mile to 3/4 mile depending on the air pollution. After being outside for about 30 minutes you could wipe dirt off your face and visibly see it on the cloth that was used.

  24. #24
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  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by NateHawk View Post
    .... I was thinking about the indirect effect of increasing fuel economy in cars reducing demand for fuel stateside and supporting higher gasoline prices .... .
    Reducing demand DECREASES price, not increases. As demand increases, prices rise. That helps preserve the item from being consumed too quickly. Econ 101.

    Larry

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    Quote Originally Posted by lgh View Post
    Reducing demand DECREASES price, not increases. As demand increases, prices rise. That helps preserve the item from being consumed too quickly. Econ 101.

    Larry
    Reduced demand stateside...except that there's increased demand OVERSEAS and so the US is currently a net EXPORTER of refined products. This allows gasoline prices to remain high in the US because the refiners are limiting the domestic supply by shipping out the extra gasoline.

    I graduated from Econ 101 and moved on.

  27. #27
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    This is why I prefer cycling away from cars on paved trails or up on fire roads!!!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by in2theforest View Post
    I've been to China a couple of times and I would have to say that our environment "looks" pristine compared to what I saw in some large cities. The visibility was anywhere from 1/2 mile to 3/4 mile depending on the air pollution. After being outside for about 30 minutes you could wipe dirt off your face and visibly see it on the cloth that was used.
    Yay, this is what we all have to look forward too. Either China is going to burden their industries with overhead to pay for environmental stewardship, or we're going to remove it from ours. Wish I was more optimistic, but I bet the latter.

  29. #29
    lgh
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    Quote Originally Posted by NateHawk View Post
    Reduced demand stateside...except that there's increased demand OVERSEAS and so the US is currently a net EXPORTER of refined products. This allows gasoline prices to remain high in the US because the refiners are limiting the domestic supply by shipping out the extra gasoline.

    I graduated from Econ 101 and moved on.
    Then be careful what you write so it reflects that.

    Larry

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