If you were wondering whether it was just you that worried about air pollution, try this little test. Go to Google Search, type in “Air pollution UK”, click ‘News’ and click “Last 24 hours”. I just did that and have nine pages of results. And there’s nothing special about today. Air pollution has fast become one of the hottest topics in the media.
Today’s offerings include:
“Air Pollution causes low intelligence in babies” [The Times]
“Action to combat air pollution effective – but much more to do [The Guardian]
“The state is responsible for air pollution” [BBC]
“Air Pollution reduces fertility” [New Scientist]
“How to have a healthy barbecue” [The Telegraph]”
“New 50 mph limit to cut pollution” [Braintree & Witham Times]
So it seems we’re starting to get to grips with the seriousness of the situation. Air pollution is slowly harming us all, and killing a good few of us. So the media, with a wealth of science-based articles on the issue will be a great place to also find advice on solutions. Er...
Here’s a snippet from yesterday’s Metro...
“Metro’s Top 5 Gadgets ideal for removing indoor air pollution”
My first thought – if something’s harming the health of me and my children and reducing our life expectancy, I don’t want a ‘gadget’, I want a machine. Something proven, engineered, durable, trustworthy. But, to be fair, people do like gadgets. So how did these stack up?
Well, of the 5 gadgets for removing indoor air pollution one was a robot vacuum cleaner, one was designed for cars, and two were air sensors – which might tell you what’s in the air but will do nothing to clean it. Leaving one Dyson air purifier which, probably not coincidentally on the hottest day of the year, also doubles as an air cooler.
Now we’ve absolutely nothing against the Metro. This article is no different to thousands of others you can find. A journalist finds a topical subject, does a quick Google, reads some product spiel, copies out the details, and, Bob’s your Uncle, there’s a handy review. Don’t worry if the information is clearly nonsense, or the product can’t be found in the UK (surprisingly common), or makes ridiculous claims (most do!)
If there’s one thing we’ve learned it’s not to take any notice at all of reviews or recommendations for air pollution products unless they’re from independent experts. We’re not trying to buy toys or cool gadgets here, we’re trying to live longer, healthier lives.
So please, when you’re ready to spend some money or learn how to take practical steps to reduce your personal air pollution, don’t rely on newspaper or magazine ‘reviews’ but find a specialist and start to understand the problem before committing to a purchase. And buying even the best products and plugging them in will do little for the quality of your air without managing other aspects of your environment.
Reducing air pollution for your family is a serious issue. So take it seriously. Because if you don't, who will?