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  • Kayla Schulte

Virtual event: What do we know about in-vehicle air quality?

Join us on Clean Air Day:

6-7PM (UK time), 17 June, 2021

Interactive, online, free

Register here

Indoor air quality has become a topic of great interest to air pollution research world. Individuals in the UK spend an average of 22 hours, or 90% of their day indoors. (Opinium, 2018). Until fairly recently, the idea of indoor air pollution didn’t extend to the insides of cars, buses or trains. To further make the case, research points to time spent in transit as contributing significantly to an individual’s daily air pollution exposure, with one study showing that just 6% of a person’s was day spent in transit yet was responsible for 25% of their daily pollution exposure (de Nazelle, 2013)

It is a common misconception that people don’t have control over the pollution they are exposed to in transit. While it is the case that certain groups do not have the luxury of choosing a different mode of travel, whether it be for economic reasons, accessibility, mobility, or otherwise, a significant portion of the UK population do have this choice. Often it is a matter of accepting a trade-off of slightly longer travel times, for the longer-term benefits of health and decreased exposure to air pollution.

New research from Public Health England (PHE) published in the Journal of Transport and Health demonstrated that individuals were typically exposed to higher levels of air pollution when taking motorised transport, as opposed to pedestrians or cyclists (Mitsakou et al, 2021). At first this can seem surprising, as we may intuitively imagine pollution is only emitted outside of vehicles through the tailpipe. However, pollution behaves in such a way where can become trapped inside enclosed spaces (e.g. inside a vehicle), and this contributes to personal exposures.

Other findings point to behavioural choices individuals can make to help reduce their exposures when traveling by car, bus or train. To unpack all of these important research findings, and to learn what you can do to limit your exposure to pollution, the UKRI funded TRANSITION Clean Air Network is hosting a special interactive webinar event in partnership with The University of Birmingham Institute for Global Innovation for UK Clean Air Day.

The event will take place on June 17th from 6-7PM and will feature live polling activities, quick 'fire talks' by a panel of air pollution researchers & practitioners, and multiple Q&A opportunities. During the event, we will explore the following questions and more:

· What is the current state of knowledge around in-vehicle exposures?

· What are the knowledge gaps around air quality management within vehicles?

· How many people in the UK work within the transportation sector?

· What health & safety measures could be implemented?

If you are someone who is curious to learn more about how air pollution varies by mode of travel, and what you can do to help reduce your exposure along journeys to work, school or other daily movements, join us for this interactive, informative event.

Registration is free and after signing up through the link here, you will receive more details on how to attend the virtual event.

To learn more about the TRANSITION Clean Air Network and its upcoming events, follow us on Twitter @TRANSITION_air or visit our website

Author: Kayla Schulte, DPhil Candidate, University of Oxford, Department of Sociology, and Engagement Officer for TRANSITION Clean Air Network


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