NEW YORK, Aug. 17 (UPI) — Four major air pollutants are heavily concentrated in high-traffic areas in Manhattan and along highways during the summer in New York, health officials say.
However, the New York City Community Air Survey shows ozone concentrations — resulting from chemical reactions among other pollutants, such as nitrogen oxide, in the presence of sunlight — were highest in downwind suburban locations, such as the Rockaways and lower Staten Island.
“It’s important to remember that all New Yorkers have a stake in improving the city’s air quality,” Dr. Thomas Farley, city health commissioner, says in a statement. “Exposure to the pollutants evaluated in this report can cause grave health problems, including cardiovascular and lung diseases and premature death. This study reiterates the need to switch to more fuel-efficient cars, reduce car traffic, and increase use of public transportation.”
The air survey shows the four major pollutants — carbon, nitric oxide, nitrogen dioxide and ozone — are heavily concentrated in high-traffic areas such as Midtown and Lower Manhattan and areas of the Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens and Staten Island that run along busy highways.
The fine-particle pollutants can penetrate deep into the lungs, causing inflammation of the airways, exacerbating lung and heart disease, health officials say.
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