Tips for reducing in-car air pollution

Air pollution causes an estimated 40,000 premature deaths a year in the UK.

An unprecedented inquiry has found that pollution levels are often higher inside cars than on the street.

MPs have now called on the Government to do more to tackle the “national health emergency” of air pollution.

Here are six steps you can take to avoid pollution inside your vehicle

  • When driving in traffic – keep a safe distance from polluting vehicles around you – especially HGVs. Keep windows closed and set the air conditioner to recirculate air inside - rather than using outdoor air.

  • If possible, take a less congested route with fewer traffic lights - even if it takes longer. The more time spent still in traffic, the more in-car pollution.

  • Maintain your car as a poorly-kept vehicle is likely to pollute the air inside. This includes cleaning the interiors as pollutants will combine with dust particles and then can be inhaled.

The inquiry is encouraging people to use alternative forms of transport. Credit: PA
  • Air fresheners and cleaning products will pollute inside cars as they do in homes. Instead, it’s worth opening windows in a clean, traffic-free area.

  • Devices such as Airbubbl can remove a wide range of air pollutants inside the car. Trials have shown these devices can cut the harmful NO2 gas inside cars by up to 90%.

  • And, of course, exposure to pollution inside a car can be avoided by using public transport, cycling or walking to your destination.

Setting your air conditioner to recirculate air can help. Credit: PA