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Tree-lined roads may help prevent the spread of pollution

Surrey researchers explore how roadside vegetation restricts our exposure to air-borne waste emissions.

A new paper on the significance of trees lining polluted roads has been published in the journal Atmospheric Environment by Dr Prashant Kumar and postgraduate research student Abdullah Aldabbous, both from Surrey’s Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering.

Entitled ‘The influence of roadside vegetation barriers on airborne nanoparticles and pedestrians’ exposure under varying wind conditions’, the research found that surrounding vegetation on busy roads reduced pollution by up to 36 per cent.

“The findings of our paper prove that vegetation linings can effectively trap freshly-emitted pollutants on roads,” Dr Kumar commented. “If urban planners suggest planting trees alongside open roads in the future, they may significantly minimise levels of pollution.”

Read more about Dr Kumar's findings within The Conversation.

Learn more about Surrey's undergraduate and postgraduate Civil Engineering programmes.  

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