It seems counter-intuitive because cyclists are out in the open, while car drivers are enclosed in their vehicles. But Jette Rank, Jens Folkeb and Per Homann Jespersen from the University of Roskilde in Denmark found that the concentrations of benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene and xylene (harmful exhaust chemicals) in the cabin of cars is 2–4 times greater than in cyclists’ breathing zone. Even after taking the increased respiration rate of cyclists into consideration, car drivers seem to be more exposed to airborne pollution than cyclists.
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