Monday, February 25, 2008

Report - Toronto: Traffic and Health Report

Dr. David McKeown, Toronto's Medical Officer of Health, released a report stating that traffic related air pollution contributes to about 440 premature deaths and 1,700 hospitalizations per year in Toronto.

This study estimates that mortality-related costs associated with traffic pollution in Toronto are $2.2 billion each year. Based on policies in place in other jurisdictions, implementation of comprehensive, integrated policies and programs could reduce total vehicle travel by 30 to 50%. A 30% reduction in motor vehicle emissions in Toronto could save nearly 200 lives and result in 900 million dollars in health benefits annually.

Enabling greater use of public transit and active modes of transportation such as walking and cycling are of significant benefit to the public’s health and safety. This study provides a compelling health rationale for investing in City Council’s action plan to combat smog and climate change, and for vigorously pursuing implementation of sustainable transportation policies and programs in Toronto.

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