Who morning has to stop on the way to work at a red light, which is usually just annoying – but not dangerous. However, for health, a red light well play a role: As a British study shows commuters only two percent of their travel time to spend on their daily commute an average of prior traffic lights, are but a quarter of the costs incurred by the entire trip pollutants suspended. Especially when approaching fast, the values ‚Äč‚Äčenormously in height, write Anju Goel and Prashant Kumar in the journal “Atmospheric Environment”. The issue would be far too much neglected, also emphasizes Manfred Boltze of the Technical University of Darmstadt.

According to him, dying in Germanyabout three times more people prematurely due to emission-related particulate matter than by traffic accidents. Motorists, cyclists, pedestrians and passengers in buses are exposed to nanoparticles from the road. The tiny particles penetrate deep into the lungs and increase the risk for respiratory and cardiovascular disease significantly. British commuters spend an average of 1.5 hours per day at the wheel, the researchers write. The scientists wanted to measure it starting to reality, which are exposed to concentrations on the way to work motorists. For this purpose, they drove a six-kilometer route with a total of ten lights under different conditions – such as open or closed windows or with one or ventilation is switched off.

They measured the concentrations of particles between five and 560 nanometers in diameter in the outdoor and indoor air. At the traffic lights particle concentrations increased significantly, precisely when starting, if the vehicles burn more fuel. The indoor air pollution soared compared to the flow of traffic by up to a factor of 29 higher.

In general, the researchers measured the signal systems go-around about six times higher than in the standing position. The load on the interior air at the traffic lights was then well below that of the outside air with the air was switched off. The World Health Organization (WHO) counts air pollution among the ten main risks Kumar was quoted in a statement his university.

“Our time in the car has remained pretty much the same in the previous decade, but with more vehicles on the road, we are exposed to in their daily commuting increasing air pollution. Drivers should the increased risks to be aware of much traffic lights,” he says. His Tip: Close window, turn off ventilation and allow the greatest possible distance from the vehicle in front. Pedestrians should try to avoid high traffic lights.

The study results were entirely plausible that the situation in the UK are similar to those in Germany, says traffic engineer Boltze, who was not involved in the study. Estimated to die in Germany about 10,000 people a year by traffic-related particulate matter emissions – about three times more than by accidents. “This is a significant dimension,” says the researcher.

For prevention, it calls for many cities modernization of traffic lights, so that the traffic flows better. Often, the systems are not interconnected, and they use outdated control devices and software. Motorists could also contribute through good maintenance of the air filter for their own protection.

In addition, the health risks when planning for the various modes of transport should be better taken into account, stresses Boltze. For example, planners should create the routes for cyclists off the major roads. For cyclists breathe the fumes unlike motorists unfiltered, they are also exposed to busy roads also an increased risk of accidents.