Can a Bike Commute Cause More Harm Than Good?
Vincent Lee, an associate principal in our New York office, is test subject 75 in an ongoing study through Columbia University that tracks pollution intake among cyclists. Specifically, the researchers are tracking the consumption of PM 2.5 (particulate matter, dirt, or soot that’s 2.5 micrometers or less in width) in those who commute throughout New York City at peak times via bicycle. Participants are outfitted with state-of-the-art equipment that measures air pollution, respiration, and heart rate while resting and commuting — both to see where pollution dosage spikes and to gauge the long-term health impacts of such a commute. To track all of this information, Vincent is required to wear this kit for six nonconsecutive days over the course of three weeks.