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Subway Travelers need to worry about Worsening Air Pollution

Subway Stations are a thing to worry about for the eco and health-minded travelers of the United States. Tiny pollutants are thrown up by the subway cars, making the underground stations dirtier than the most polluted cities. It says a new study from New York University’s Grossman School of Medicine.

The Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA) of New York was the biggest offender, with a PM2.5 rating of 251 micrograms per cubic meter during the day’s rush hours. According to the United States Environment Protection Agency, particles with diameters of 2.5 micrometers or smaller are fine and inhalable.

Generally, around 35 micrograms of dirt per cubic meter are considered safe daily. However, some stations in New York City, Boston, Washington D.C., and Philadelphia were much higher. A total of 71 stations were tested, out of which the Christopher Street Station in Manhattan caught the spotlight. The particular station registered around 1,499 micrograms per cubic meter during the rush hours.

The study co-author, Terry Gordon, exclaimed, “It was the worst pollution ever measured in a subway station, higher than some of the worst days in Beijing or Delhi.” He also had his colleagues do repetitive tests to make sure the readings captured were appropriate. He also explained that his colleagues who visited the stations felt their airways tighten after an hour.

The bulk of the particular matter was made up of iron and organic carbon. The NYU claims that these elements only come upon burning fossil fuels or from decaying plants and animals.

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