This should really be no surprise but cyclists inhale more than double the amount of black carbon, or soot, than pedestrians.
A study by Barts and the London School of Medicine found that cyclists had 2.3 times more inhaled soot than walkers.
Soot particles are created by exhausts from cars. There is increasing evidence that inhalation of black carbon particles is associated with a wide range of health effects – including heart attacks and reduced lung function.
Researchers based their research on five pedestrians and five people who cycled to work in London. Levels of black carbon in their airway cells were measured.
The researchers aimed to identify whether the way healthy adults commute to work affects their exposure to black carbon. All participants in the study were non-smoking healthy urban commuters aged between 18 and 40 yrs.
Planning cycle routes
Dr Chinedu Nwokoro, one of the researchers of the study and an active cyclist, said the study concluded that personal exposure to black carbon should be considered when planning cycling routes,
“The results of this study have shown that cycling in a large European city increases exposure to black carbon.”