Keep your family safe from the diesel fumes lurking outside your front door
Rising levels of pollution in the UK are “wreaking havoc on human health” according to The World Health Organisation.
More than 40 cities and towns are breaching safe limits of air pollution according to new statistics which name Glasgow, Port Talbot, Nottingham, London, Oxford, Leeds and Southampton among the worst.
The report revealed 11 of the areas had dangerously high levels of PM10 pollution which is a measure of the concentration of particles in the air. These areas exceeded the safe level of 20 micrograms per cubic metre.
“Urban air pollution continues to rise at an alarming rate, wreaking havoc on human health,” said Dr Maria Neira, a WHO Director.
Jenny Bates, of Friends of the Earth air pollution campaign, told The Huffington Post: “This is yet another report which shows the air we breathe is unsafe.
“This is a public health crisis. It is time we treated it that way. We need fewer and cleaner vehicles with a Clean Air Zone in every city and large town and politicians must urgently introduce a diesel scrappage scheme to get the worst polluting vehicles off our roads.”
According to a report by the Royal Colleges of Physicians and the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health air pollution is killing 40,000 people in Britain every year.
A recent investigation by The Times revealed that children in 3,000 English schools are breathing in air laden with toxins.
“Emissions from diesel vehicles, trains and heavy industry are among the culprits for the potentially dangerous levels surrounding 15% of schools,” The Times revealed.
The Sunday Times revealed this summer that two schools in South Yorkshire are to become the first in Britain to shut because of air pollution levels.
The schools, near Sheffield close to the M1 Motorway and busy trunk roads, are generating so much Nitrogen Dioxide and other pollutants the council deemed the buildings a threat to children’s health. They will now be moved to a new site.
How to protect yourself
The best way to filter out pollution from your home or car is by choosing an air purifier with an activated carbon filter or an enhanced activated carbon filter.
Carbon filters are super porousand attract, absorb and neutralise organic gases, odours and some chemical compounds. These gases and chemicals are not removed by other types of air purifier filters.
We would recommend the VirusKiller VK Blue which is the only air purifier to be effective against radon gas and removes diesel fumes by 98%.
The unit, which has a pre-filter, carbon, HEPA-type filter and photocatalytic oxidation technology is currently on sale for £469.95 (from £549.95) and offers 99.99% protection for completely pure indoor air in your home or office.
The Blueair 270E Air Purifier with SmokeStop Filter removes gases and VOCs that aggravate breathing problems. The SmokeStop technology includes a filter with enhanced activated carbon to dramatically reduce gaseous pollutants.
An Amaircare XR100 Car Air Purifieris a very efficient system which cleans the air in your car or room. The three-stage filter air purifier which removes carbon monoxide, fuel gases, hydrogen, propane, methane, noxious gases and radon gases. It also removes dust, pollen along with organic odours and smoke.
You can also choose from the Roomaid HEPA Air Purifier with Multizorb Canister which includes a True HEPA and is versatile to remove 99.97% of particles that cause breathing issue in your home, car or hotel room.
Fellowes AeraMax DX55 Air Purifier consists of a True HEPA with an activated carbon filter which is able to neutralise smaller particles like organic gases, odours and some chemical compounds.
A MeacoClean CA-HEPA 119x5 Air Purifier expertly cleans the air of allergens utilising a pre-filter, True HEPA, coconut charcoal filter and finally photocatalytic oxidation (invented by NASA) to remove viruses, bacteria and germs.
You could also try the HoMedics AR-NCO2Gb Brethe Air Purifier with NanoCoil Technology which removes microscopic contaminants from the air acting like a magnet.
A Heaven Fresh NaturoPure HF380 enjoys seven-stage filtration process to relieve the air of pollutants and is an excellent all-round system for the home.
If you find yourself cycling or walking to work through polluted streets try a Honeycomb Mask with Activated Coconut Carbon Filter.
The carbon filter reduces exposure to pollution, diesel fumes and other airborne particles. The mask is lightweight and has adjustable latex-free ear loops so can be worn with glasses, goggles or a helmet.
What action is being taken?
The new Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, is calling for a new Clean Air Act for the 21st Century and has proposed implementing a £10 Emissions Surcharge on the most polluted vehicles from 2017.
He is also proposing a diesel scrappage scheme for London to put pressure on the Government to introduce the scheme nationally.
This summer Paris introduced a ban against dirty vehicles built before 1997 from its streets (although classic cars were exempt) as fuel emissions kills 48,000 people each year in France.
How does air pollution affect our health?
According to DEFRA (Department of Environment Food & Rural Affairs) air pollution mainly affects the respiratory and inflammatory systems.
It lists the most common pollutants as Nitrogen Dioxide, Sulphur Dioxide, Ozone Particles and Carbon Monoxide.
The first three irritate the airways to the lungs increasing the symptoms of lung disease while particles are carried into the lungs and can cause inflammation with lung and heart diseases.
Carbon Monoxide inhibits oxygen being carried in the blood so this can reduce the amount of oxygen reaching the heart.
As a result the WHO reported 80% of outdoor air-polluted related deaths were caused by heart disease and strokes while 14% by pulmonary disease or acute lower respiratory infections and 6% due to lung cancer.
For more information on our full range of air purifiers and masks click here.
Sources: World Health Organisation, DEFRA (Department of Environment Food & Rural Affairs), The Times, The Guardian, Huffington Post, Royal College of Physicians, and the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health and The Sunday Times