Reducing Your Exposure to Air Pollution

August 18, 2014

Photo: Maggie AwadMaggie Awad is the Marketing Manager at Arlington Transportation Partners. She says every commute to work is different with so many options in her neighborhood including bus, Metro and Capital Bikeshare.

Healthy Air Campaign Video Still
Photo Credit: Healthy Air Campaign

In case you needed just one more reason to consider alternate forms of transit, the Healthy Air Campaign of King’s College London and Camden Council just gave us all a huge one. In a recent study that tracked air pollution in London, it was found that individuals can reduce their exposure up to 5x by choosing to bike or walk instead of driving in a car.

Wait, what? So getting into a vehicle doesn’t reduce your risk? Nope, in fact the air pollution of surrounding cars was found to be trapped inside your vehicle, causing more harm to commuters than those who opted to bike or to walk.

So take a minute to not just consider the benefits of alternate transit as they apply to your current daily commute, reducing stress and cost of car maintenance, but also to enjoying a healthier lifestyle. In Arlington, the ability to make the change is quite simple with the help of BikeArlingtonWalkArlington, and the Capital Bikeshare program.

Vivienne Westwood, fashion designer and activist, stated “We can avoid a certain amount of pollution if we consider our habits of getting from one place to another. The next hope is that people generally, try to change their habits.”

This blog isn’t necessarily about going green, but rather a wake-up call that the habits we think make our life easier, like driving to work every day, are actually detrimental to the community as a whole and individually.

Be smart about your daily commute and consider other options. Let ATP plan your commute if you aren’t sure how to leave your car at home or ask your employer about transit benefit options. Also be sure to get up to date, local alerts about air quality from Clean Air Partners.

Breathe safe, Arlingtonians.

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