City bicyclists inhale 5 times as many noxious particles as drivers, walkers

Bicyclists take in 5 times the pollution of car passengers
Bicyclists take in 5 times the pollution of car passengers

Any bicyclist who has ridden city streets after a spring thaw and tasted salt in the evaporation coming off the road knows what a new study in Britain has found; city cyclists breath in copious amounts of particulates. According to the report, riders take in as much as five times that of drivers and pedestrians on the same route in city travel, much of it from internal combustion engines.

According to the London Times, this is because cyclists breathe a lot more air than other travelers, thanks to the vigorous nature of their transportation. They take in millions of potentially-toxic particles with every breath, many of them so small that not even a hospital mask would keep them out. The British study, in which bicyclists were fitted with special masks to identify what they were breathing in as they peddled around town, found numerous substances that are tied to health problems such as heart and respiratory diseases.