Driving and Exposure to Air Pollution
Did you know, one of the biggest exposures to air pollution is via our commute journey?
Every day, millions of workers leave their homes for work. Their modes of transport would usually fall under – travelling via public transport or driving a vehicle.
The filters inside vehicles are designed to sift large particles such as pollen and dust from entering the air vents, however, they may not filter smaller particles such as particulate matter and vehicle emissions such as gases.
The air inside our vehicles could cause health concerns, this could include increase blood pressure, impair our decision making, and cause drowsiness.
There are several gases that affect our health, including:
- Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2): this type of gas can cause respiratory problems such as lung irritation and decrease our lung’s ability to infections
- Ozone (O3): This is a dangerous pollutant due to the way it affects humans and the environment, Ozone is one of the main ingredients. Long term exposure could cause respiratory diseases such as asthma
- Fine Particles (PM 2.5): These are particles that range between 0.1 and 2.5 microns in diameter. These particles can stick onto our lungs and cause respiratory diseases such as bronchitis and asthma. Frequent exposure to PM 2.5 has been linked to cardiovascular problems such as irregular heart rates, and cardio issues
- Carbon Monoxide (CO): This poisonous gas causes short-term effects such as dizziness and fatigue. Exposure to this type of gas could affect our concentration levels and alertness
- Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs): These chemically based compounds can be formed as gas or liquids and are often present in our everyday lives. Sources of VOC includes acetone, paints, aerosol sprays, dry-cleaned clothing, and even pesticide
How to improve in-car air quality?
We may not be able to remove all vehicle pollutions but there are several ways to reduce and destroy pollution:
- Ensure a safe distance from other vehicles: When we are following a vehicle close, the fumes from the vehicle in front are expelled and could travel into our vehicle’s air vents. To reduce the levels of pollution and fumes, it is important to keep a safe distance where possible
- Avoid congested roads: when we are stationary on the roads, we are increasing the pollution levels inside our vehicles, according to a study by the University of Surrey, sitting in traffic could increase our exposure to toxic fumes by up to 76%
- Ensure a clean interior: Unless we clean our vehicles after every use, there is likely to be dust forming on surfaces that we don’t use, it is important to ensure the interior is cleaned on a regular basis to minimise the build-up of impurities and dust which can be inhaled when we switch on the car’s recirculation mode
- Invest in a car air purifier that purifies and sanitises the cabin air and surfaces whilst you’re inside the vehicle. At Air For Life, our dedicated car air-purifier is the solution. The AFL Car Sanifier® is completely filter-less and uses a dual advanced ionisation technology that releases human-friendly negative ions to destroy up to 99.9% of impurities such as bacteria, toxic gases, dust, VOCs, food smells, and cigarette smoke. Using NASA-developed technology, we have created a product that puts the health of commuters and drivers first.
To find out more about the AFL Car Sanifier®, click here.