Live near a park or civic garden? Your risk of stroke drops by 16 per cent.

Green spaces are credited with reducing carbon dioxide, but there’s also evidence they absorb other pollutants, including particulate matter PM2.5 – one of the most dangerous pollutants because it can pass through human lungs and move into the blood system.

A 2015 study found that long-term exposure to air pollution can cause damage to brain structures and impair cognitive function in middle-aged and older adults.

A 2018 study linked exposure to residential air pollution during foetal life with brain abnormalities that may contribute to impaired cognitive function in school-age children.

This new study shows that levels of nitrogen dioxide (NO2), an air pollutant, are also apparently absorbed or otherwise reduced by green spaces.

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