BOSTON - Getting stuck in rush-hour traffic can literally make your blood boil and not just because you're frustrated and stressed.
A new study out of the University of Washington found that pollution from tailpipe exhaust, brake and tire wear, and road dust can raise your blood pressure while you're sitting in the car.
Researchers drove healthy participants in rush-hour Seattle traffic and found that breathing unfiltered air caused a bump in blood pressure by more than 4.5 mm Hg compared to driving around in a car equipped with a HEPA filter. The effects on blood pressure lasted up to 24 hours.
Long-term exposure to traffic-related pollution has also been linked to heart disease, asthma, lung cancer, and an increased risk of death.
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