Risks of in-cabin pollution

In-cabin pollution equivalent to passively smoking 980 cigarettes a year for professional drivers

Spending extended periods of time in traffic jams can be just as bad for your health as passive smoking, according to expert warnings.

Research carried out by Airlabs claims that the levels of in-vehicle air pollution for professional drivers spending large amounts of time in their vehicle; is equivalent to smoking 54 cigarettes a year or passively smoking 980 cigarettes.

And yet despite these disturbing figures, a new study suggests a worrying nine out of 10 drivers remain unaware of the dangers of in-car pollution.

The study, by clean air tech company Airlabs who recently launched an in-car air purifier – the Airbubbl, found that 60% of people incorrectly think pollution levels are at their most dangerous for pedestrians and cyclists on busy roads.

More than a quarter of those surveyed actively avoid places with high levels of air pollution, and yet 25% are unaware that they could be exposed to toxic fumes inside their cars.

And despite over half of people being concerned about the long-term effects of air pollution on their health, a disappointing 40% don’t believe that they can do anything about it.   

Marc Ottolini, CEO of Airlabs, said the survey shows that most people are unaware of just how polluted the air they’re breathing inside their vehicles actually is. He said:

"Levels can be several times higher in vehicles than outside. This is because harmful gases from exhausts can pass straight through car air filters and accumulate inside a car, posing a significant health risk.
“Commercial drivers are forbidden from smoking in their vehicles because we all recognise the risks associated with smoking and passive smoking, yet we underestimate the damage that a vehicle filled with polluted air is having on the health of professional drivers.”

Air pollution is linked to around 40,000 premature deaths in the UK every year and can lead to complications such as heart and lung disease, asthma, and child development issues.

Did you know, driving with a wallet or mobile phone in your back pocket can cause bad back?

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In a bid to tackle air pollution, the Government has announced the sale of new petrol and diesel vehicles will be banned in the UK from 2040, although some MPs are calling for the ban to be brought forward to 2032.


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