Air pollution: outdoor air quality and health (National Institute for Health and Care Excellence, Dec.1, 2016)
Also discussed here: Trees could make urban pollution even worse (quartz, Dec.6, 2016)
And here: Neighborhood greenspace and health in a large urban center (Nature, Scientific Reports, Jul. 9, 2015)
Today we review a guide about urban air pollution that looks into the role that street trees play with respect to reducing air pollution. The overall conclusion was that trees are unlikely to reduce air pollution and could add to it, especially if the trees reduce ventilation of air currents. This is true also of the more recent use of green walls. It is also acknowledged [in a Toronto study]that urban trees can improve health – as much as a $10,000 raise or feeling 7 years younger. Pine trees are singled out as a particular contributer to urban pollution through their emissions of volatile organic compounds (VOC) which combine with the NO2 in car emissions to produce low level ozone, one of a handful of pollutants harmful to health.
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