Studies Show Home Proximity To Freeways Linked With Health Concerns
Perhaps not surprisingly, studies have repeatedly shown that living close to freeways, i.e. within 500 feet, is associated with health concerns including asthma, lung cancer, and even pregnancy complications. On its face, this information is not particularly concerning to most people, because most people do not live within 500 feet of a freeway. However, recent development is trending toward more construction within this danger zone of 500 feet. While those homes typically provide a more reasonably priced alternative to other homes, buyers should proceed with caution. In this article, we discuss the risks associated with living near freeways.
The Health Risks Posed By Freeways
The University of Southern California Environmental Health Center recently published an article consolidating several years of research on the impact of traffic pollution on people at different stages in their lives. According to the research consolidated by USC, traffic pollution is linked with high blood pressure and gestational diabetes in pregnant women, premature birth and changes to the developing brain in babies and fetuses, obesity and asthma in children, undersized lungs in teenagers, heart disease and stroke in adults, and even cardiac deaths in seniors. Regardless of ones age or gender, the studies repeatedly and consistently link living near busy roads or freeways with significant health risks.
Recent Development In Los Angeles Is Trending Toward More Construction Close To Freeways
The health risks posed by freeways and pollution are not particularly concerning to most people, because most people do not live within 500 or even 1,000 feet of a freeway. However, a recent article published by the Los Angeles Times revealed that amid increasing density, development in Los Angeles is increasingly trending toward construction within this “danger zone”. In 2015, city officials issued building permits for 4,300 homes near freeways, and in 2016 they issued permits for another 3,000 homes near freeways. They did so even as they advised developers that this poses health concerns to residents of those homes. According to the article, 1.2 million people in Los Angeles are currently living within 500 feet of a freeway. That is over 1/4 of Los Angeles’s total population of approximately 4 million.
Of course, given the number of freeways in Los Angeles, it’s often difficult to avoid living close to a freeway. Indeed, some people view proximity and ease of access to freeways as a positive aspect of a home, the added benefit being that these homes are typically more affordable than homes further away from the freeways. Regardless of one’s preference, it is important to understand the health risks associated with purchasing a property close to a freeway, and to make an informed decision before completing the purchase.
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