Scotland breaks EU air quality standards as pollution becomes a ‘public health crisis’

The air pollution in Scotland’s towns and cities is creating a public health crisis, according to environmental campaigners. Scotland’s streets continue to break European air quality standards as the country wrestles with an invisible “public health crisis” costing thousands of lives and billions of pounds.

Scotland breaks EU air quality standards as pollution becomes a 'public health crisis'

This claim by Friends of the Earth Scotland came after they analysed official data for two toxic pollutants. The group said the latest figures showed pollution levels were continuing to break Scottish and European limits.

However, ministers defended their record, saying they were working hard, along with councils, to improve air quality. Friends of the Earth Scotland examined two key pollutants, nitrogen dioxide (NO2) and particulate matter – tiny particles which are pumped into the air by diesel vehicles.

Particulate matter is tiny ‘coarse’ particles released by diesel-fuelled vehicles that, like NO2, causes respiratory problems and exacerbates other health conditions. Experts estimate that Scottish air pollution kills 2,000 people a year — more than alcohol-related to road-accident deaths put together.

The environmental group said air pollution had worsened in several areas, including Whitehall Street in Dundee; it found that air pollution had worsened in several areas over the last year. High levels of NO2 are linked to asthma and other respiratory problems. Continue reading

The role of air filters in food processing environments

The challenges and regulations facing processors continue to intensify, with recalls of food contamination on the rise, all food processing manufacturers are at risk. The time has come that they can no longer ignore the effect that air quality has within food processing plants and the products within them.

Air and the contaminated particles carried within it can come in contact with products yet is often not properly considered or evaluated. Left unfiltered, dirty air basically becomes and ingredient in products. Removing unwanted particles from the air to maintain the safety of your product is but one of the many responsibilities food processing plants have to the public.

Camfil air filters reduce contamination risks and lower overall filtration costs. We design filters with 3 key attributes in mind:

  • Efficiency
  • Low resistance to air flow
  • High dirt holding capacity

A filter in a food or beverage plant must capture the very small particles which are too small to be seen by the human eye. Low priced filters use coarse fibres often produced with an electrostatic charge. This artificial charge quickly dissipates, causing a loss in particle efficiency and letting dangerous airborne contaminants bypass.

This is not an acceptable situation for a food processing facility. Camfil filters feature fine fibres with no artificial fibres added. These fibres maintain their efficiency for the life of the filter, continuously capturing small particles.

Our higher efficiency filters reduce the potential for contamination by reducing the amount of pathogens, mould spores or other unwanted particles in a given volume of air. Continue reading

Over 1000 UK schools require air filtration to combat deadly pollution according to EAC

Environmental Audit Committee has launched the Action on air quality report which states that new schools and hospitals must not be built next to major roads to help reduce the tens of thousands of deaths currently being caused by nitrogen dioxide and particulate pollution every year in our cities.

air pollution in schoolsAccording to the EAC report, all new schools, care homes and hospitals should not be built near to major road intersections or other pollution hotspots. Schools should have adequate public transport links to reduce the need for car journeys and be easily reached by cycling or walking from the surrounding community. This would encourage “active travel”.

The report also states over 1000 existing schools could be fitted with air filtration systems where necessary if they are sited in pollution hotspots.

Clean Air London’ (CAL) has campaigned for more than three years to build public understanding of indoor air quality with sponsorship and support from Camfil UK.

Simon Birkett of campaigning body ‘Clean Air London’ is particularly pleased to see the importance of indoor air quality highlighted in the Environmental Agency Committee (EAC) report as European’s spend 90% of their time indoors on average and it is possible to reduce air pollution indoors by up to 90%.

Schools, hospitals, care homes and other buildings may have any, all or none of mechanical ventilation, air conditioning or air filtration. All non-residential buildings should comply with British and European standards EN13779 and EN779:2012 for air filtration. Continue reading