Living Next to a Major Roadway Increases Dementia Risks
A study from Public Health Ontario (Canada) [pdf] has found that people who reside near a major road are 12 percent more likely to develop dementia related disorders than those who live further away. Julia Lurie of Mother Jones writes that the study has significant implications for public health in Ontario where nearly half of all adults live within 200 meters of a major road.
Residents living within 50 meters (55 yards) of a major road were between 7 and 12 percent more likely to develop dementia, depending on how long they had lived there and whether they lived in an urban or rural area. With distance from the road, the risk dissipated until, 200 meters away from a major road, residents were at no more risk than those who lived further away.
The cause of the increased dementia risk is still being investigated, however scientists believe it is due to the fine particulate matter found in car exhaust that is able to penetrate the body and move through the brain where it causes inflammation.