Traveling in a tube
is not at all easy. A variety of annoyances are associated with such travel. Sandwiched between people, tolerating unbearable body odors and loud music
played by a fellow passenger are just few examples of a multitude of
irritations encountered while traveling in a tube.
have claimed that tube travel not only spoils your mood, but also have adverse
effects on your overall health.
The tiny mettle dust
particles present in the tube atmosphere can be injurious to your overall
Scientists noted that
the tiny dust particles found in the underground trains were different from the
particles inhaled everyday in the open atmosphere. The dust particles of the underground railway were more harmful
as they can infiltrate the lungs and body in general.
Matt Loxham and
colleagues evaluated the particulate matter in an underground European station.
Matt said, "The
ultrafine dust is typically composed of 'inert matter' which does not pose much
of a risk."
However Loxham said,
"In the underground station we studied, the ultrafine dust was at least as rich
in metals as the larger dust particles and therefore, taken together with their
increased surface area to volume ratio, it is of potential significance in
understanding the risks of working and traveling in the underground.
These tiny dust
particles have the potential to penetrate the lungs and the body more easily,
posing a risk to someone's health."
Fine dust particles
can attack the bronchioles or smaller airways while coarse dust particles
mostly stick up to windpipe and nasal passages.
The ultrafine dust
particles penetrate the barrier lining the air passages and enter the body
tissues and the blood circulation.
The harmful effects of
fine dust particles are not confined and limited to airways but vital organs
like cardiovascular system, brain, kidneys and liver.
"The high level of
mechanical activity in underground railways, along with very high temperatures
is key in the generation of this metal-rich dust, and the number of people
likely to be exposed means that more studies into the effects of (dust) in the
underground railway environment are needed."
According to the
experts ill-ventilated underground railway stations are the ideal environment
for toxic dust particulates to get accumulated.
The scientists of the
University of Southampton were of the opinion that further research was
required to identify the risks of travelling in underground stations for
Mr. Loxham stated,
"Underground rail travel is used by great numbers of people in large
cities all over the world, for example, almost 1.2 billion journeys are made
per year on the London Underground."
Collins, London's Underground Chief Operating Officer, mentioned, 'We have
carried out monitoring of dust levels on the Tube for many years to re-assure
our passengers and staff.'
Finally it can be said that no conclusions
should be drawn about London Underground from this study and similar studies
should be conducted at other European stations.