Commuting - Car mouth
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09-30-04, 09:31 AM
By car mouth I mean that awfull taste you get when you brethe car fumes... It stays in your mouth, and just makes me want to spit....
Now I'm wondering what are the effects of this on my health? I pass through 5 minutes of dense car jungle every morning/evening, and I kinda hate knowing I'm breathing so much stuff.
Anybody is doing anything against this? I've seen breathing masks, but how effective are those, and is it really worth considering this?
As a cyclist, you notice it more, but you'd be breathing almost as much nasty stuff if you were driving a car. The "fresh" air inside a car has to come from somewhere, after all.
09-30-04, 09:49 AM
yes, but the car driver isn't breathing the same amount of it that I am, since I am probably breathing twice as fast as he is. And wouldn't some of the gunk be filtered by car filters and so on?
09-30-04, 11:32 AM
Yes, but you are spending less time in the fume-rich area, whereas most cars spend a lot of time sucking in the exhaust of the car in front of them.
If it bothers you that much, you'll need to re-route.
09-30-04, 02:14 PM
Go ahead, spit if it makes you feel better.
09-30-04, 03:46 PM
You could go the Michael Jackson route.
09-30-04, 03:47 PM
The British Medical Somethingorother did a study on this a while back. The carbon monoxide levels & general crud levels in the blood of the tin-box people is a fair bit higher than that of the cyclist, despite them being 'protected' by their box, cos the regular cyclist's cardio vascular systems are more efficient and, as Seanholio sez, they're sucking each other's fumes while we're above it all <smug>
09-30-04, 03:54 PM
09-30-04, 03:56 PM
09-30-04, 04:12 PM
A googled answer on the subject (http://draco.acs.uci.edu/rbfaq/FAQ/6.7.html)
Beny you are right. I've never thought about the fact we breath twice as fast as drivers do, becoming more vulnerable to the fumes... and also we breath much deeper.
So nice to have that bikepath along the St-Laurent river!
And thanks for that "googled" summary.
10-03-04, 06:16 AM
Believe it or not, as a cyclist you're actually in total control of how heavily you're breathing at any particular moment. If you think you're sucking in too many car fumes, try backing off the intensity of the ride by about 20%. You'll probably find yourself breathing much easier, as it's only really that last 20% of speed that takes most of the effort (the old 80/20 rule again).
Something else you can do, breathe through the nose rather than gulping it down through the mouth. The human nose is designed to filter out some of the particles. It won't get all of them, or even most of them, but it's something.
However, there really isn't any need to worry. There have been a lot of studies done on this, and all conclude that the fumes car drivers breathe are a lot worse than what the cyclist gets. Remember that most drivers have their windows wound up and the air conditioning on all the time. This effectively means that when the fumes enter the car, they have nowhere to go. On a bike at least you've got the wind to disperse them a little bit.
It's also another reason to pick your way through to the front of the queue at red lights. The air quality at the front is noticeably better than at the back.
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