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Traffic congestion contributes to poor infant health

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Another good reason why we need better public transport: a new study reveals that exposure to traffic congestion can worsen infant health, reports our correspondent.

In a recent working paper in the US National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) (NBER Working Paper No. w15413), authors Janet Currie and Reed Walker show that “traffic congestion is a significant contributor to poor health in affected infants”.

Cleverly exploiting some changes in toll collection to obtain a “natural” experimental situation, they show that reduced exposure to traffic congestion within a 2km range also reduced the incidence of prematurity and low birth weight by between 11-12 per cent.

Given what we now know about the impact of early life events on long-term health, education, and well-being outcomes, this suggests that exposure to traffic congestion has much larger long term costs than previously thought.

Do we need more evidence for developing a decent public transport that can begin to cut down on traffic congestion and its huge impact on our children?

The full reference is:
Traffic Congestion and Infant Health: Evidence from E-ZPass
by Janet Currie, Reed Walker

The views expressed in Aliran's media statements and the NGO statements we have endorsed reflect Aliran's official stand. Views and opinions expressed in other pieces published here do not necessarily reflect Aliran's official position.

AGENDA RAKYAT - Lima perkara utama
  1. Tegakkan maruah serta kualiti kehidupan rakyat
  2. Galakkan pembangunan saksama, lestari serta tangani krisis alam sekitar
  3. Raikan kerencaman dan keterangkuman
  4. Selamatkan demokrasi dan angkatkan keluhuran undang-undang
  5. Lawan rasuah dan kronisme
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