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Drivers have the highest overall exposure to air pollution

Updated: Apr 21, 2023

For decades, research has focused on the air quality outside of vehicles. Studies are beginning to indicate that the air quality inside of vehicles can be a serious health concern, for causes ranging from elevated heart rate and blood pressure to increased risk of driver drowsiness.

Pollutant levels are often higher inside vehicles because cars take in emissions from surrounding vehicles and recirculate them. This is because vehicles are not built to be airtight, pollutants can enter the car cabin through air vents and other openings, amongst the easy access of pollutants. Inside air quality in cars can be affected by heavy or stop-and-go traffic, ventilation fan speed, vehicle speed, and the number of passengers in the car.

For trucking companies and food delivery companies it is important that the inside of the vehicles air quality is good as the employees have to spend long periods of time driving, with HGV drivers having a 9-hour daily limit and delivery drivers doing around 8 hour shifts a day.

HGV drivers have the highest overall exposure to air pollution and yet are being overlooked in the air quality debate, according to scientists at King’s College London.

Research by environmental charity Hubbub in cooperation with the college and The Times newspaper examined how poor air quality affected people living and working in London. It involved 10 participants using portable monitors that tracked their air pollution exposure levels.

Among them were an HGV driver, a construction worker and a construction site engineer.

Of all the participants, the lorry driver had the highest overall exposure to pollutants, more than six times higher than that of an office worker.

In-car air pollution continues to have a latent effect on drivers’ health and It Is important for people to have a safe breathing space during their daily commute.

The cocktail of air pollutants coming from vehicle exhausts include;

Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2), Ozone (O3), Carbon Monoxide (CO), Sulphur Dioxide (SO2), Particulate Matter (PM2.5) and Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs).

Exposure to air pollution increases the risk of cardiovascular and respiratory diseases, type-2-diabetes, and cancers, and premature mortality in the long term:

When the concentration of fine particulate matter (PM2.5) increases, hospital admissions also rise for heart attacks; heart diseases due to insufficient blood supply, usually because of a blocked artery (ischemic heart diseases); and congestive heart failure.

Spikes in the concentration of other air pollutants – especially the combination of fine particulate matter and nitrogen oxides – correlate with increased hospital admissions for potentially fatal disturbances of heart rhythm.

It’s not only the short-term spikes that harm your heart. Deaths from cardiovascular causes also increase due to long-term (chronic) exposure to air pollutants, even when other risk factors like smoking are taken into account.

Reduce sickness days and protect your drivers by installing the GojiAir Mini portable air purifier in your fleet. Powerful and portable, The GojiAir Mini is the first medical-grade air purifier designed for personal use inside vehicles. Unlike traditional air purifiers, GojiAir Mini utilises the most effective NCCO patented technology (Nano Confined Catalytic Oxidation). NCCO is widely used in many hospitals and public areas to provide the best quality air.

The GojiAir Mini has a built-in lithium battery, rechargeable via USB, giving 8 hours of mobile use, an Ultra quiet fan, only 34dB in ‘silent mode’. Its lightweight, compact and mobile and available in many colour choices. You can even have your brand embossed onto the GojiAir Mini Hub.

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