Following the news that the poisonous gas NO2 is often more concentrated inside your car than in a polluted street outside, research is essential to provide guidelines for the most vulnerable among passengers and drivers. That includes a prime concern, our children of all ages. A pilot study has just been conducted involving the use of the mobile lab above, while UK local authorities have been reasonably active in placing 133 fixed sensors that are capable of analysing exhausts. These monitoring stations can cost £35,000 and tend to need a large installation, impossible to place in some city locations.
The UK suffers badly from its polluted cities, with 23,500 deaths pa. and nearly 80% of regions failing to meet European (EU) safety limits for the past 5 years as far as nitrogen dioxide is concerned. Much of the relevant research is recent, with some time lag allowable before action can be taken. However, Paris is taking action on limiting diesel vehicles while London stands by and has so far taken no actions against diesels specifically. A group of environmental lawyers known as Client Earth are now pushing DEFRA (Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) to tackle the high and illegal levels of NO2, which need to be reduced to the 40µg/m3 limit. So far the government haven’t moved beyond the Clean Air Zones announced (for only 6 cities, and neglecting Glasgow, Manchester and Liverpool.) and a ULEZ (ultra-low emissions zone) for the main culprit, London, by 2020.
The MD of Enviro Technology Services, who make the mobile lab, insists that air pollution causes a total of 50,000 annual deaths, with resultant high costs to the economy. That puts NO2 high on any list of invisible killers. The novel Smogmobile is naturally all-electric, gathering data every minute on particulates, both PM2.5 and PM10and the gases O3 (ozone), methane, carbon dioxide and nitrogen dioxide. How would this vehicle be used? That would depend upon the need, as it is obviously capable of measuring more than the nitrogen dioxide that DEFRA is failing to deal with. As other countries labour to get over the crisis for diesel passenger car emissions, our interest lies in the commercial vehicle reliance on diesel engines and whether the UK government will try to address the passenger car situation as well as strengthen its regulations for the older heavy vehicles.
In every nation on earth, we watch to see how governments can reduce emissions, but also how they break ther own rules on vehicle exhaust gases and particulates. Comments from other countries having the same difficulties would be more than useful: SEE our Facebook page.
about their Smogmobile. As an indication of the depth of London’s problem,we had more on exactly this situation way back in 2014.