Pollution worse inside cars

Scientists have found that car and taxi users are being exposed to air pollution levels inside their vehicles several times higher than those found along the roads they are driving on. The findings emerged from a study in which researchers at King’s College London equipped five MPs, all members of the environmental audit committee, with devices to measure airborne pollution levels plus a GPS unit to show where they got the highest doses. “Travelling in vehicles gave the greatest average exposure,” said Ben Barratt, a senior air quality scientist at King’s who oversaw the research. “Among the worst was when the MPs got a taxi across London.”

The Sunday Times ran this story.

This is a matter that has always interested me and this article confirms my own thoughts about the exposure of car drivers to pollution. I have got into the habit of shutting down my car’s heater/air intake when I spot a diesel vehicle in front of me. Sometimes on Bootle’s Dunningsbridge Road, for example, you can be surrounded by diesel belching lorries in a fog of fumes.

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