Carbon-Related Health Issues

According to the Chicago Tribune, Chicago now ranks as the sixth ‘sneeziest and wheeziest’ state in the United States. Allergies and asthma related issues among Chicago’s citizens are amplified due to climate change and the city’s high levels of carbon emissions. Several factors such as public transportation and vehicle-related carbon emissions account for a majority of Chicago’s high carbon levels. These components of the city’s high carbon levels are elements of it’s citizens’ everyday lives. However, by reducing the use of carbon-emitting transportation and substituting it for green transportation, Chicagoans can help alleviate the issue of high carbon dioxide levels and assist in the reduction of local public health issues.

With transportation being a key factor in the high levels of carbon dioxide in Chicago, green transportation is an choice it’s citizens can benefit from and use on a daily basis. Aside from the numerous individuals who drive through Chicago, many use the city’s large expanse of public transportation. The seemingly endless carbon emissions from vehicles, trains, and buses alike are noticeably taking tolls the environment. Green transportation includes but is not limited to electric public transit, electric vehicles, the use of bicycles, and walking. For those with no time to bike or walk, the development of electric public transit would ultimately lead to lower levels of carbon emissions and a healthier city.

There are countless benefits that Chicago may receive by making greener transportation changes throughout the city. As many other cities, Chicago’s carbon emissions damage not only its local public health, but the health of the environment as a whole. Carbon emissions from urban areas create irreversible damage that can only be alleviated through actions taken by citizens and city officials alike. If taken seriously and put into action, green transportation can transform urban sustainability and Chicago’s public health.


Class Readings

Trotter, Greg. “Report: Chicago Is Sixth ‘sneeziest and Wheeziest’ in U.S.” The Chicago Tribune, 14 May 2015. Web. 07 Oct. 2016. Waygood, E.O.D.,

Yilin Sun, and Yusak O. Susilo. “Transportation Carbon Dioxide Emissions By Built Environment And Family Lifecycle: Case Study Of The Osaka Metropolitan Area.” Transportation Research: Part D 31.(2014): 176-188. Academic Search Complete. Web. 7 Oct. 2016.

Yang, Chih-Wen, and Yi-Ling Ho. “Assessing Carbon Reduction Effects Toward The Mode Shift Of Green Transportation System.” Journal Of Advanced Transportation 50.5 (2016): 669-682. Academic Search Complete. Web. 7 Oct. 2016.



4 thoughts on “Carbon-Related Health Issues

  1. As I read through your blog I couldn’t help but to think of carpooling and transportation companies such as Uber and Lyft. Carpooling is another method that can be used in reducing CO2 emissions, but do you believe that Uber and Lyft can also help the environment? Uber has now introduced carpooling into their services, here’s the website with more information on it,


  2. While scrolling and skimming the classes blogs, I stopped when my eyes were drawn to the words “sneeziest and wheeziest.” This caught my eye primarily because I have asthma but also because I have always been curious as to how Chicago affects my asthma as opposed to the environment back at home in San Francisco. Even though California is known for having a massive driving population, my hometown is on a peninsula so the ocean constantly filters the air. But, in Chicago, there aren’t coastal winds to do this so my asthma reacts more often. Therefore, I agree with your solution of greener transportation since it not only applies to people but the environment. Although, my concerns are the costs and opportunity cost of investing in green transportation at this time. Interesting article, and good post.


  3. No doubt about that. Every time I hop off the Metra after my long commute, I’m instantly reminded that I have asthma. There isn’t much light shed on this issue either. It seems that many people have accepted that this is the lifestyle and what comes with the city. However, as you’ve stated, it affects health significantly.
    I don’t agree that people don’t have the time to “bike or walk”… if the city was more bikeable, the time it would take to get from place could be faster than bus or car/Uber. Emanuel is trying to make Chicago “the most bikeable city by 2020” (ambitious), but these efforts should be increased because they are at a lower, quicker cost to find more efficient and safe transportation routes. It’s an issue of over-development that should be solved with less developed methods, first.


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