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Stop Sprawl
Highway Health Hazards:
A Sierra Club Report

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How highways and roads cause health problems in our communities - and what you can do about it.

Highway Health HazardsA critical consequence of sprawling development and reliance on highways as a principal means of transportation is tailpipe pollution. Evidence is increasing that air pollution from vehicles increases a wide range of health risks.

A significant body of scientific evidence is emerging that links pollution from motor vehicles to a range of human health problems including asthma, lung cancer and premature death.

Over the last 50 years we have
torn down communities to
build highways. We need to
rebuild our future with clean
transportation and better
community design. This report summarizes more than 24 peer-reviewed studies that document health hazards caused by pollution from cars, trucks, and other vehicles. It also describes current debates over major highway projects occurring in more than ten communities around the country.

Federal transportation policy has long focused on expanding the highway system as its principal goal. Approximately 80 percent of federal transportation funding is spent on highways. But by designing communities to reduce reliance on vehicles and giving people more transportation choices like trains and clean buses, we can diminish the health risks associated with highway pollution.

Read the full report.

Download the report. (21mb PDF file, 24 pages)


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