Tip of the week
How to avoid pollution in traffic
Roll up the windows. This simple move meaningfully reduces your exposure to carbon monoxide, ultrafine chemical particles, and other harmful components of vehicle exhaust. These pollutants “can cause or contribute to a wide range of health problems, from heart and lung disease to neurological and reproductive dysfunction.”
Upgrade the cabin filter. This factory-installed filter typically hides behind the car’s glove box and typically cuts particulate pollution in half. Change it annually, and to protect yourself against hydrocarbons and nitrogen dioxide, upgrade to one with “activated carbon”—i.e., charcoal.
Hit ‘recirculate.’ By recirculating the air in the cabin, you can reduce the particulate pollutants that enter by up to 90 percent. Don’t leave that function on long, because after 15 minutes, a buildup of exhaled carbon dioxide can make passengers drowsy and nauseous.