The air we breathe: nanoparticles and their role as a cardiovascular risk factor

The European Society of Cardiology hosted their Congress 2015 in London last month. The Congress is the world’s largest and most influential cardiovascular event.

the air we breatheA population-based approach is needed to tackle air pollution, which is now ranked ninth among the greatest modifiable risk factors for cardiovascular disease, according to conclusions at a Spotlight of the Congress Symposium yesterday.

Air pollution not only exacerbates existing heart conditions but even appears to play a part in their causation. The WHO estimated in 2012 that one in eight of total global deaths (around seven million each year) could be attributed to air pollution. The principal culprit appears to be fine nanoparticles known as particulate matter (PM) ≤2.5 μm in diameter (PM2.5) which occur in diesel and petrol exhaust.

David Newby from Edinburgh University said:

‘This ultrafine particulate matter is like a gas and can penetrate deeply into the lungs and reach the blood stream,’.
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London set to breathe easier with new emissions regulation

The Environmental Industries Commission (EIC) has welcomed a new London scheme to improve air quality in the capital, and calls for it to be implemented in other UK cities.

new emissions regulation

Construction sites in London are now required to start replacing or retrofitting with pollution controls machinery such as diggers, cranes, generators and bulldozers to ensure new emissions standards are met. Such machinery is currently the source of 15% of particulate matter pollution and 12% of the toxic gas nitrogen dioxide within London1.

With 9,500 people dying prematurely in London each year as a result of long term air pollution2, emissions regulation for construction machinery is key to ensuring clean air in London, improving the wellbeing of all Londoners. Continue reading

Camfil air filters reduced air pollution by up to 93% during worst smog episode

clean-air-logoArticle by Simon Birkett. Founder and Director, Clean Air in London.

On 18th March, the daily mean outdoor particle air pollution (PM2.5) hit 346 mg/m3 , nearly 14 times the World Health Organisation guideline.

Five air filter combinations were tested by Camfil. Additional standalone air filter units within an office can reduce office-generated pollutants and emissions e.g. volatile organic compounds

Camfil has sponsored Clean Air in London’s campaign to build public understanding of indoor air quality since 2011.

IAQ reportCamfil’s international testing team analysed air pollution in London between 16 and 20 March 2015.

They monitored ambient, or outdoor, air pollution and indoor air quality in Montague Place in central London and tested one or two air filter combinations each day in the office’s air handling unit. Camfil’s report can be downloaded here: Camfil IAQ London report

Camfil’s monitoring coincided with the worst air pollution episode so far this year.

On Wednesday 18 March, Camfil recorded a daily mean for fine particles (PM2.5) in outdoor air of 346 micrograms per cubic metre (mg/m3) which is nearly 14 times the World Health Organisation (WHO) guideline. They also recorded between 300,000,000 and 400,000,000 particles per cubic metre with a diameter between 0.3 microns (mm) and 0.5 mm. Continue reading