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People in 'walkable' neighborhoods exposed to more air pollution: study

Last Updated Jun 25, 2019 at 11:02 am EST

People walk through the intersection at Yonge and Dundas Streets.

For those living in walk-able neighbourhoods, you may think you’re living in a healthy part of town, but according to a new report from a St. Michael’s Hospital, it’s quite the opposite.

The study suggests people living in walkable neighbourhoods are actually being exposed to more air pollution than those living in other areas like suburbs.

Walk-ability was determined by how easy it is to walk to preform daily tasks, such as getting to work or school, grocery shopping and running errands.

Despite residents in walkable neighbourhoods being more physically active, those areas can have higher levels of traffic-related air pollution due to their high population density and street connectivity and can lead to a risk of cardiovascular disease.

The physical activity could actually be contributing to exposure as those residents tend to spend more time outside.

The report survey around 2.5 million from 15 Ontario municipalities.

On the flip side, the study found people who live in more “unwalkable” areas like suburbs have a greater risk for diabetes and high blood pressure.

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