DAILY commuters who spend an hour in traffic are at risk of damaging their health the equivalent to passively smoking a couple of cigarettes every day.
It has been revealed that air pollution is 140 per cent worse inside a car stuck in congestion than it is standing outside on a busy road.
Nine out of 10 Brits are unaware of the dangers of in-car pollution, according to a new study by portable air purifier maker Airlabs.
Nearly 60 per cent of people also wrongly believe that pollution is highest when walking or cycling on a busy road.
Meanwhile, a quarter of drivers think they don’t need to worry about toxic fumes when in the car.
More than a quarter of Brits actively avoid being in places where they believe air pollution exposure is high, which shows the importance people put on breathing clean air.
Over half of people are also concerned about the long-term effects it will have on their health, yet 40 per cent think they can’t do anything about it.
In-car purifiers could provide a solution, removing up to 95 per cent of dangerous gases from the cabin.
Airlab says it has created the first portable purifier of its kind with the new ‘airbubbl’ device.
The filter can be attached to the back of a headrest, however, the safety implications when in a car crash and carrying a passenger in the backseat is unclear.
Cars are also installed with an air filter, however, this needs to be changed regularly as it can trap harmful allergens and bacteria.
Marc Ottolini, CEO of clean air tech maker Airlabs, said: “Most people don’t realise just how polluted the air they’re breathing inside their car really is.
“Levels can be several times higher in vehicles than outside. This is because harmful gases from exhausts can pass straight through car air filters and accumulate inside a car, posing a significant health risk.
“We all understand the risks of smoking and passive smoking, but a lot of people don’t realise that just being in a vehicle can be highly damaging to your health too.”