Driving Is Hazardous to Your Health
Of course, the whole time you are playing bumper cars with
semis and irate motorists, you are also breathing poisonous mixtures of lead
and ozone. "People think they are protected in an SUV," chuckles
Sarkar, "and they are exposing themselves and everyone else to more
According to the Environmental Protection Agency, the average
adult breathes 3,400 gallons of air a day. If you commute two hours a day,
you're inhaling hundreds of gallons of pollution-choked air, which worsens
asthma, emphysema, and other lung problems.
What's the Good News?
So is there any good news about good old drive time? Maybe a
glimmer. Andrew Baum, PhD, professor of psychology and psychiatry at the
University of Pittsburgh, has done studies showing that sitting in traffic or
commuting in general can raise blood pressure and irritability -- but they
return to normal levels after you get out of the car.