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How traffic jams affect air quality

The personal automobile is the single greatest polluter in most urban areas, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. While the emissions from a single vehicle are minute, every pollutant produced can add up to create the hazy blanket traditionally pictured in urban environments that see heavy traffic flow.

Emission production increases during traffic jams - often to an unhealthy level. The constant acceleration and braking in stop-and-go traffic burns fuel at a faster rate, resulting in a greater rate of emissions being released at one centralized location. Vehicle exhaust negatively impacts air quality by adding hydrocarbons, nitrogen oxides, carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, according to the EPA.

Homes located near roadways that frequently suffer negative traffic conditions may wish to invest in a professional-grade air purifier.

This type of chemical cocktail can negatively impact human health. High levels of nitrogen oxide are toxic, and carbon dioxide works to create an insulating barrier from the sun resulting in a build up of ozone that impairs lung function. The IQAir® GC MultiGas air purifier can clear the home of a wide variety of pollutants - a potentially worthwhile investment for individuals living near heavy traffic.

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