Is the air polluted in New York's subway system, and what kinds of health risks might face workers on the tracks? As Scienceline blogger Madhu Venkataramanan writes today on Scienceline, the answer is unclear - and research is needed:
There has been no effort to look for subtle, long term health effects that could affect workers exposed to levels of pollutants that fall within the official limits. [Yet] recent studies in international cities (like Paris and Seoul) have suggested that toxic pollutants — including manganese and chromium — may be present in the ambient air of underground transport systems, creating toxic environments for workers who spend much of their time underground.
In the interesting piece, Venkataramanan discusses a decade-old Columbia University study that hinted at potential dangers and outlines the legal barriers preventing further research on the world's second-largest subway system. It's worth a read.
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