Poor Air Quality Inside Cars May Affect Driver’s Alertness14 Jun 2022
Have you ever experienced that the major daily exposure to air pollutants happen when you are travelling in your car? For years, the pollutants released by vehicles have been debated with reference to its harmful impacts on the environment. But the way it affects drivers and persons along for the ride has not been given much attention.
The fact is that when the air inside your car gets polluted, numerous unwanted health impacts can happen to the drivers, leading to their poor performance. The concern of poor air quality inside cars is drawing a great deal of interest in some countries, including India because there are numerous vehicles and most of the people travel in their car for years.
What Worsens the Air Quality in Cars?
Since the sources can be abundant based on the surroundings, however the three main sources that add pollutants to the air inside vehicles are car interior material, exhaust fumes, and second-hand smoke.
Exhaust fumes penetrate the car cabin through heating ventilation and HAVC systems. It includes toxic gaseous pollutants such as carbon monoxide (CO), oxides of nitrogen (NOx) and hydrocarbons (HC), and these gases can adversely affect the people travelling in their cars. Generally, these gases are found inside cars at a level above the limits defined by the World Health Organization (WHO).
Exhaust fumes may lead to several respiratory diseases like breathing difficulties in case of prolonged exposure. They are also found to make the drivers feel faintness, drowsiness, experience headaches, and nausea. Eventually, they develop a poor hand-eye coordination due to all these things.
Generally, traffic jams are the common situation when the odds of drivers being exposed to toxic pollutants are high. Today, many high-end cars are coming with factory-fitted air purifier to clean the ambience inside. But such vehicles either don’t fit in everyone’s budget or they don’t have an appropriate air filtration system.
Few well-known brands like PetriMed CA are coming up with sustainable solutions to the increasing level of concentrated ambient pollution. For vehicles, we might have so many options available at our fingertips, but what PetriMed CA APS-20 (a car air purification system, not an ordinary car air purifier) does is quite impressive. Fitted with HEPA-14, it is mechanically efficient to remove 99.999% of indoor pollutants.
Materials Used for the Car Interior
Automakers use some VOCs-emitting materials for the interior fabrication to make the dashboard, seats and steering wheel. These materials worsen the air quality, due to their chemical properties. They can release volatile organic compounds inside your car when it is exposed to the sunlight and heat in parking areas. Drivers can experience some certain symptoms like headaches, dizziness and nausea, if they are exposed to VOCs continually.
Secondhand Smoke and High Concentration of Carbon Dioxide:
Poor air quality can be also be caused by drivers’ behavior. A car with the windows closed and poor HVAC system cannot protect the drivers from cigarette smoke and other unpleasant odors unless it is fitted with an advanced HEPA air purifier for cars.
Similarly, the high level of carbon dioxide (CO2) has also been linked with drowsiness and fatigue—which is already a severe concern for road safety.
Several scientific studies have concluded that more than 15% of all road accidents happen due to the drivers being affected by the high level of CO2 and VOCs inside cars. Therefore, it is necessary to reduce the concentration of indoor pollutants by using advanced car air purification system with HEPA filter.
Until all automakers start manufacturing the vehicles fitted with an air purifier along with an efficient ventilation system, we need to consider installing an air purifier inside our cars as a safety measure.