Urban cyclists: Don’t breathe on busy roads

Riding on congested city streets, industrial areas or suburban thoroughfares increases the amount of toxic chemicals absorbed by your body, according to a new study by UBC professor of civil engineering Alex Bigazzi.

“It is still better to be bicycling to get the health benefits from physical activity, even with the amount of (air pollution) exposure,” said Bigazzi. “However it is useful to know that your body levels of toxicants will be lower if you can chose a lower traffic route. You might have to go a little out of your way to do that.”

The study was featured on Discovery News, Oregon public radio, KGW (Portland), NWCN, and the Vancouver Sun.