Commute at your own risk
Commuting to work in heavy rush-hour traffic is hazardous to your health, exposing you to alarming levels of microfine pollutants, says a new study. The research, which studied commuters in the notoriously smoggy city of Los Angeles, found that people who spent an hour and a half a day in cars and buses inhaled more lungpenetrating ultrafine particles during the commute than during the entire rest of the day. “If you have otherwise healthy habits and don’t smoke, driving to work is probably the most unhealthy part of your day,’’ environmental health expert Scott Fruin tells Some of the toxic particles produced by car and truck exhaust, especially diesel-engine trucks, are so tiny that they can penetrate cell walls and permeate the body. Closing your window and using recirculated air reduces the amount of pollution you inhale, but not by much. The only way for commuters to truly reduce their risk is to take a train, get a new job, or move.