A recent study in the Ontario environment has raised general health worries about the effect of air pollution and traffic. The study also found out that individuals who lived within 50 meters of a heavy traffic environment had a 7% higher risk of dementia when compared with individuals who lived more than 300 meters far from such environment.

Scientists surveyed records from more than 6.5 million Ontario inhabitants aged between 20-85 to examine the link between living near streets with heavy road activity and health issues such as dementia, Parkinson's disease and multiple sclerosis.

The result of this research discovered 243,611 instances of dementia, 31,577 instances of Parkinson's disease, and 9,247 instances of multiple sclerosis within the Ontario environment between 2001 and 2012 when they mapped each individual’s closeness to major roadways, utilizing the postal code of their living arrangement. The discoveries show that living near major roads with heavy traffic increases the risk of dementia, however not Parkinson's disease or multiple sclerosis, two other major neurological health issue.

According to one of the lead researcher, Dr. Hong Chen, environmental and occupational health researcher at PHO and an adjunct scientist at ICES, Little is known in current studies about how to lessen the danger of dementia. The discoveries made in this study demonstrate the nearer you are to environments with heavy everyday traffic, the greater the danger of developing dementia. With our increasing exposure to traffic activities and the more inclination for individuals to live in urban areas, this has serious public health implications.

This study is the first in Canada to recommend that pollutants from heavy everyday traffic are connected to dementia. Although it has been well documented that air pollutants can get into the circulation system and prompt inflammation, which is connected with cardiovascular diseases and perhaps different conditions, such as diabetes, study proposes that air pollutants can get into the brain by means of the blood stream and can lead to neurological issues.


As urban environments turn out to be all the more populated and more congested with vehicles on major roads, this study could be utilized to help advise municipal land use decisions and building designs to consider air pollution factors and the effect on public health.

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