Freeway and Air Pollution Hits 'Urgent Public Health Crisis' Warning [VIDEO]
As housing complexes are continuously built near freeways, people surrounding the area suffer from high rates of asthma, heart attack, pre-term births, and lung cancer. Recent studies suggest that freeway pollution and air pollution are growing health crises that should be addressed immediately by the government.
Air pollution is now a public health crisis and should be tackled immediately. If air pollution and freeway pollution continuous to prevail, higher risks for respiratory diseases, childhood obesity, autism, and dementia is predicted, BBC reveals.
In Los Angeles California alone, 2.5 million people are already living in the freeway pollution zone, Los Angeles Times reports. Although California air quality officials have been keen in warning the public against building homes within 500 feet of freeways, several home buildings have surge within the 500 feet radius and continue to increase in numbers to date.
Los Angeles officials approved thousands of new homes within 1,000 feet of a freeway but advised developers that this distance still poses health concerns brought by freeway pollution. In 2015 alone, 4,300 homes near freeways were issued building permits and an additional 3,000 units were also given permits in 2016.
Unfortunately, public funds, even millions of dollars used for programs to cut greenhouse gas emissions are being used by developers to build housing units in freeway pollution hot spots. This move in building housing units near transportation hubs helps in increasing urban density which targets reducing greenhouse gas productions. However, as greenhouse gas production is reduced, people are constantly being exposed to freeway pollution daily, putting their health at risk.
Freeway pollution is an urgent a complicated problem that requires cities to establish buffer zones. Re-zoning industrial land along freeways and transportation corridors and creating efforts in moving housing units in areas far from the freeway to solve the cities severe housing shortage are already in the works. Improving air filtration systems, building design, and tailpipe emissions may also help in reducing risks to residents located near freeways.