Vehicular air pollution and asthma: implications for education for health and environmental sustainability

Helen Kopnina*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)
3 Downloads (Pure)


Studies show a direct relationship between occurrence of asthma and increases of particulate matter in the air. Private transportation is found to be a significant contributor to this problem. The objective of this article is to explore this link between air pollution, asthma and vehicular dependency in order to provide recommendations for health and transport policy. This article focuses on the survey of literature on the relationship between vehicular air pollution and asthma; combining it with the literature on vehicular dependency or ‘car culture’ in the global context and in The Netherlands. This article exposes the imbalance of power between patient groups and polluting industries, and the government failure to protect the weaker party can be explained by corporate pressures. It will be argued that since air pollution is tied to the corporate support for the car industry and vested interests in promoting a ‘car culture’, strategic policy that claims to be concerned with public health should explicitly link the present pattern of mobility to public health. This article concludes with a recommendation for raising environmental health awareness by explicitly linking vehicular dependency to respiratory health through a combination of holistic and citizenship education.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)38-48
Number of pages11
JournalLocal Environment
Issue number1
Early online date1 Mar 2016
Publication statusPublished - 2 Jan 2017
Externally publishedYes


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