A study by Friends of the Earth Scotland reveals that pollution levels around the world are breaking limits
Blueair, a Sweden-based provider of indoor air cleaning technology appliances, said a recent Friends of the Earth claim that air pollution in Scotland is creating a public health crisis highlights the lack of public awareness about toxic pollutants in the air people breathe both outside and inside their homes and offices.
The claim by the Friends of the Earth Scotland followed an analysis of official data for two toxic pollutants, which showed pollution levels caused by nitrogen dioxide (NO2) and particulate matter were continuing to break Scottish and European limits. The FOI report added that air pollution had worsened in several areas across Scotland over the past year.
“High levels of NO2 have been linked to asthma and other respiratory problems, and this latest report again underlines how airborne pollution is a major health problem not limited to fast-growing economies like China or India,” said Blueair CEO and founder Bengt Rittri.
In a comment on the FOI Scotland report, Rittri said it showed there is an urgent need to put both outdoor and indoor air pollution on the public agenda by spreading knowledge about the contaminants building up in the air people breathe at home and work.
“We see this as an urgent priority in our rapidly urbanizing world. In 1970, just 39 million people lived in megacities with populations over 10 million. Today there are 28 megacities that are home to 453 million people – and forecasters say there will [be] 41 such urban areas by 2030,” Rittri said. “Although we have made progress in Europe in achieving significant reductions in air pollutants, there is a lot more to be done, especially when it comes to indoor air contamination.”
Rittri said environmental authorities in Europe, Asia and the U.S. all report indoor air in our homes, offices, medical facilities and leisure centers is many times more polluted than the air outside on the street.
“We can’t do anything within the near future to stop pollution from power plants, heavy urban traffic or chemicals used in household cleaning products, but we can counter the impact by using indoor air purifiers,” Rittri said.
Noting the substantial research evidence available from the likes of both European Union and U.S. environmental protection agencies linking polluted indoor air to a broad spectrum of respiratory and breathing problems, Rittri said having an indoor air purifier should be as natural in a modern home as a refrigerator or vacuum cleaner.