Megan Delaire has written an article about traffic related air pollution (TRAP) in toronto.com today and the accompanying gif is a telling reminder of why the shift to electric vehicles cannot come soon enough for the health of people living in Toronto near major highways and downtown.
The article uses a gif that rotates a series of four images showing the levels of four pollutants measured and published in 2017.
Here are the four individual maps in a static format so they can be viewed more easily. York South-Weston is outlined in red. It’s clear that the greater volumes of traffic on the 401 and downtown create more TRAP. The first two maps show particulate matter in two sizes. Small particles are insidious because they can irritate the lungs. The smaller the particles, the bigger the risk to health.
More on Nitrogen Dioxide here.
Benzene is a particularly nasty chemical associated with gasoline. More on benzene here.
It’s clear from the maps that living near major highways provides a greater exposure to contaminants. Noise is just one of the toxic by-products of major highways. The faster we can move to electric vehicles, the better for our health. More on TRAP from the University of Toronto here.
Megan promises a follow-up article describing what can be done to reduce TRAP levels. Read the article here.