Tech to protect people in cars from NO2 pollution unveiled

Airlabs has launched technology that protects people from dangerous NO2 air pollution in cars.

The Airbubbl product has been found to remove over 95 per cent of the Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2) that passes through it using Airlabs’ proprietary re-engineered nano carbon technology in product trials in collaboration with the University of Copenhagen.

Airlabs is also in talks with car manufacturers about building the technology into their vehicles to combat the high levels of NO2, primarily from diesel emissions, found inside vehicles.

In a recent trial in central London on some of the UK’s most polluted streets, the Airbubbl was found to reduce NO2 concentrations inside the vehicle by up to 70 per cent with the ventilation turned on and up to 81 per cent with the ventilation turned off entirely.

In a timeframe of 10 minutes the Airbubbl reduced NO2 concentrations by over 9 per cent.

Professor Sir David King, former chief scientific advisor to the UK government and honorary science adviser for the British Lung Foundation, warns that people spend an average 1.5 hours a day in their cars exposed to traffic fumes and children are particularly vulnerable, risking permanent lung damage.

He wrote earlier this year: “What many drivers probably don’t realise is these fumes can be just as high in the car as outside, and in some cases even higher.

“Children sitting in the back seat are likely to be exposed to dangerous levels. You may be driving a cleaner vehicle but still be collecting toxic gases from all the vehicles around you.”

Duncan Mounsor, managing director of enviro technology services, which conducted the trial, said: “As a scientist, I’m sceptical about the claims of air-cleaning devices but the Airbubbl really works, and I’m not aware of anything like it on the market.

"Air pollution is as serious a public health issue as passive smoking and obesity, and if I had to spend many hours a day driving in the city, I would want an Airbubbl with me.”

The Airbubbl fastens behind the driver’s headrest and plugs into the car’s cigarette lighter. It sucks in polluted air, traps NO2 on a re-engineered nano carbon filter, removes particulates, and directs clean air at head height to the driver and passengers using optimised airflow.

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