The researchers are quick to point out that the results are still circumstantial at this point, but that doesn't make their findings any comfortable to live with. For instance, children who live in areas affected by high levels of emissions typically score lower on intelligence tests than their peers and are more prone to depression, anxiety and attention issues. In addition, researchers found that children born to mothers living within 1,000 feet of a major roadway in Los Angeles, Sacramento or San Francisco were twice as likely to be born with autism regardless of factors such as race, gender or family education level. In Mexico, the studies found that exposure to exhaust can cause a type of brain swelling similar to what Alzheimer's patients suffer from.
For those who are occasionally trapped in traffic jams, studies found that breathing in high-traffic areas for just 30 minutes can cause increased brain activity in the areas responsible for personality and decision making. Perhaps being caught in a traffic jam affects the mood as well, which could in turn make a person feels frustrated. Maybe LTA may one day quote these studies to justify increase in ERP charges, as reduced traffic congestion makes Singaporeans better decision makers!