Important Facts about In-Car Air Quality That You Need to Know

Question 1

Does transport influence air quality?

heavy traffic in Shanghai
heavy traffic in Shanghai

According to WHO, transport have a huge impact on air quality. As well as being a leading source of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, the transport sector is responsible for a large proportion of urban air pollution. Transport is a significant and growing contributor to particulate air pollution exposures. Road transport is estimated to be responsible for up to 30% of particulate emissions (PM) in European cities and up to 50% of PM emissions in OECD countries – mostly due to diesel traffic.

Question 2

How does air pollution affect us all?

Motorcyclists in Vietnam
Motorcyclists in Vietnam

Air pollution-related deaths and illness are linked most closely to exposures to small particulate matter (PM) of less than 10 or 2.5 microns in diameter (PM10 and PM2.5). Small particulates bypass the body’s defenses against dust, penetrating deep into the respiratory system. They also comprise a mixture of health-harming substances, such as heavy metals, sulphurs, carbon compounds, and carcinogens including benzene derivatives.

Question 3

If I stay inside a car, will I be protected from air pollution?

Morning Traffic
Heavy Morning Traffic

Unfortunately, the answer is “No”. Drivers, bicyclists and pedestrians are all exposed to air pollution, although the intake of pollutants may differ.

Cyclists in New York
Cyclists in New York

Question 4

If everyone on the road is affected by air pollution, who are affected the most?

London air pollution: which mode of transport has the highest exposure?

According to an experiment by the Healthy Air Campaign, King’s College London and Camden Council, pedestrians and cyclists were exposed to lower levels of pollutants than drivers and passengers inside the vehicles.

Let’s see the results of the experiment:

  • The person in the car was exposed to the highest levels of pollution. 
  • Walking and cycling can reduce your exposure to air pollution even on busy routes compared to driving or taking the bus.

Therefore, contrary to popular belief, the cabin, a safe haven as it may seem, is actually a chamber of pollutants – for example, exhaust fumes from vehicles around you.

Exhaust Fumes

Question 5

Can I use air fragrance or ozone to protect me in the car?


Air fragrance does not remove any pollutants for you. It just masks odor for you, so you won’t be able to smell it.

Ozone can be used to deodorize and sterlize. However, it is unable to filtre particulate pollutants (e.g., pollen, dust, PM10, PM2.5). Another problem with ozone is that it can be used only after you get out of your car. So, it cannot protect you while you are in the car.

Question 6

How do I control in-car contamination?

GEMEGA car air purifier
GEMEGA car air purifier

An effective car air purifier, with big filter and big airflow (technically, big CADR), is able to reduce pollution inside your car, and improve both the driver and the passenger’s experience.

With best greetings from GEMEGA – Air Quality Specialist

Supplementary Info:

Can you make your day less polluted? – BBC London News

References and Sources:

 GEMEGA – We care!

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