Air Quality & Pollution: What You Need To Know

rear of blue car showing lights and exhaust pipe

Put simply, Air Quality is a way to describe or measure the quality or condition of the air around us, it is the air we inhale. The air around us is made up of a number of pollutants and an increase in these pollutants leads to lower air quality and an increased negative impact on our health. The cleaner the air, the better for society and our planet.

What Type Of Pollutants Exist In The Air We Breathe?

The UK government has identified 5 of the most damaging pollutants. These include:

  • particulate matter (PM or PM2.5),
  • ammonia (NH3),
  • nitrogen Oxide (NOx),
  • sulphur dioxide (SO2) and
  • non-methane volatile organic compounds (NMVOCS).

However, there are a number of other pollutants. Many of these pollutants occur as gases but in some are tiny solid particles. For more information we recommend reading the .Gov guide Explaining Air Pollution At A Glance.

What Are The Primary Sources Of Pollutants?

The air is polluted by a wide range of pollutants from diverse sources, with road transportation being one of the leading sources of pollution. Other sources include:

  • industrial processes,
  • farming and agricultural processes,
  • the waste industry,
  • domestic burning,
  • energy generation and
  • other forms of transportation, such as aviation, shipping and railroads.

Why Should I Need To Be Concerned With Air Quality?

Lower air quality has a significant negative impact on everyone, especially children. According to a recent study, up to 4 million asthma cases in children are a result of increased pollution levels.

Higher levels of pollution causes an increase in the risk of lung related diseases and other lung associated problems. Increased pollution also increases the incidence of heart related diseases, in particular, in older people.

What Part Can I Play In Reducing Air Pollution?

We all can play a part in reducing air pollution levels and lowering emissions from road vehicles, like cars. At e-zoomed, we encourage the use of public transportation in urban areas where public transportation infrastructure is prevalent. The lower the number of vehicles on the road, the better for us all.

Where possible, consider using a car sharing scheme or club like bluecity which has a fleet of electric vehicles (EVs). If you must own your own car, we encourage the use of vehicles that have lower levels of emissions, such as conventional hybrids, plug-in hybrids and battery electric vehicles.

We strongly encourage the use of electric cars that have no tailpipe emissions. You can buy an EV hassle free at e-zoomed.

How Else Can I Help Increase Air Quality?

We encourage the use of green energy for both domestic and transport consumption. Why not power your home and car with renewable energy? You can easily switch to a competitive green energy plan via e-zoomed for use at home and on the road.

Where Can I Check Air Quality And Pollution Levels?

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs publishes a Daily Air Quality Index (DAQI) on its website. The index is published with four bands (low, moderate, high, very high) with values from 1( low) to 10 (high). The website also publishes health advice and recommended actions in relation to air pollution. We recommend using this resource on a regular basis.


Author

Ashvin Suri

Ashvin has been involved with the renewables, energy efficiency and infrastructure sectors since 2006. He is passionate about the transition to a low-carbon economy and electric transportation. Ashvin commenced his career in 1994, working with US investment banks in New York. Post his MBA from the London Business School (1996-1998), he continued to work in investment banking at Flemings (London) and JPMorgan (London). His roles included corporate finance advisory, M&A and capital raising. He has been involved across diverse industry sectors, to include engineering, aerospace, oil & gas, airports and automotive across Asia and Europe. In 2010, he co-founded a solar development platform, for large scale ground and roof solar projects to include the UK, Italy, Germany and France. He has also advised on various renewable energy (wind and solar) utility scale projects working with global institutional investors and independent power producers (IPP’s) in the renewable energy sector. He has also advised in key international markets like India, to include advising the TVS Group, a multi-billion dollar industrial and automotive group in India. Ashvin has also advised Indian Energy, an IPP backed by Guggenheim (a US$ 165 billion fund). He has also advised AMIH, a US$ 2 billion, Singapore based group. Ashvin has also worked in the real estate and infrastructure sector, to including working with the Matrix Group (a US$ 4 billion property group in the UK) to launch one of the first few institutional real estate funds for the Indian real estate market. The fund was successfully launched with significant institutional support from the UK/ European markets. He has also advised on water infrastructure, to include advising a Swedish clean technology company in the water sector. He is also a member of the Forbury Investment Network advisory committee. He has also been involved with a number of early stage ventures.

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