The US Environmental Protection Agency and the University of Michigan will partner in a $1.4 million joint study on the health effects of air pollution on children living near heavily traveled thoroughfares in the US. The study is funded through EPA’s Science to Achieve Results program.
Under the cooperative agreement, researchers will study the types of pollutants common near roadways, how people are exposed to them, the extent of exposures, and the types and severity of health effects. More than 45 million people in the US live within 300 feet of a four-lane road, airport, or railroad.
EPA and the University of Michigan will study traffic-associated pollution in Detroit and whether it could lead to more severe asthma attacks in children ages 6 to 14. The study will also explore whether traffic exposure has any effects on the likelihood of respiratory viral infections and will help researchers improve the predictive capabilities of computer models.
The research will be useful for policy makers developing mitigation plans to reduce exposures to air pollution for people living or working near roadways. State highway planners and environmental agencies can use the science to assess local impacts of vehicle emissions and determine the need for and impact of future road projects.