SUMMER IS APPROACHING and travel season has begun. Tourism is expected to increase, with the U.N. forecasting 1.8 billion people to annually travel abroad by 2030. Travel can present problems, however, and experts are raising new warnings about the damaging effects of taking even short-term trips to highly polluted cities.
A new study by researchers from New York University School of Medicine shows that short trips overseas to polluted cities can lead to significant breathing problems. The goal of the research was to determine if “visits to cities abroad with greater levels of air pollution adversely impacts cardiopulmonary health,” the authors said in the study.
“Everybody heard of people traveling to polluted cities and having symptoms right away when they (arrive) at the airport, so we wanted to document that these symptoms are indicative of functional changes in the lungs and the heart system,” says Terry Gordon, professor in the Department of Environmental Medicine at NYU and one of the authors of the study.