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5 ways to cut toxic fumes on school run

Cataclean School Run

The majority of British kids go back to school this week, which means harmful emissions on UK roads will be on the rise from cars on the school run again.

Sounds drastic and you might not think it would make too much of an impact, but, according to a study by the Sunday Times, levels of nitrogen dioxide (NO2), a potentially toxic gas commonly produced by diesel cars, can be 85% higher in the mornings during term-time than when schools are closed for the public holidays.

Research by NGO Global Action Plan, released to coincide with Clean Air Day back in June, also shows that primary schoolchildren are exposed to 30% more pollution than adults on the walk to school due to proximity to exhaust fumes. Essentially, their height means they get the full brunt of exhaust fumes, including nitrogen oxide (NOx), nitrogen dioxide (NO2) and diesel particulates.


The long and short of it is that air pollution is associated with reduced lung growth in childhood and increases the severity of asthma and pneumonia, according to a professor from Queen Mary University. With more and more cars on the road, the situation is getting worse.

Of course, the ultimate answer is to encourage parents to walk their children to school. However, this not always feasible. If you do have to do the school run, here are 5 simple things you can do to limit your impact on the air quality.

  1. Drive more efficiently – let up on the accelerator and brakes.
  2. Don’t unnecessarily idle your car – this not only pollutes the air, but wastes fuel and causes excess engine wear. Modern vehicles do not need “warming up” in the winter, so you don’t need to turn the engine on until you are ready to drive. Even better, you’ll save money on fuel in the run-up to Christmas.
  3. If you live quite a distance from your children’s school and the weather stays warm into the autumn as predicted, turn off your air conditioning a few miles before you get there. Cool air will continue to circulate via the fans.
  4. Check your tyres - low tyre pressure increases fuel consumption and CO2 emissions, with a tyre under-inflated by 20% reducing economy by around 20%, according to the RAC.
  5. Maintain your car – get regular tune-ups, follow the manufacturer’s maintenance schedule and use the recommended motor oil. Adding a cleaning agent such as Cataclean into the fuel system will also help remove harmful deposits and dramatically lower your emissions.

*Cataclean can bring down your car emissions by 60% - click to buy Cataclean.

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