Gas Fumes May Pump Up Road Rage

Study finds link to increased aggression in rats
By Jane Yager,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 25, 2009 5:24 AM CST
Gas Fumes May Pump Up Road Rage
Pumping gas may fuel road rage.   (Shutter Stock)

(Newser) – If filling the gas tank fills you with rage, it might be the fumes you're breathing, not the prices you're paying. A new study shows rats exposed to gasoline fumes became more aggressive, with repeated exposure altering their brain structures—a finding that could also apply to humans and road rage, Wired reports.

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“Heightened aggression may be yet another risk for the human population chronically exposed to urban air polluted by automobile smoke,” said the scientist who led the study. “Millions of people every day are exposed to gasoline fumes while refueling their cars.” (Read more road rage stories.)

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