I’ve always wondered as a cycle courier, being on the roads 5-6 days a week and cycling through congested roads next to traffic, how much air pollution am i being exposed to?
If i’m honest, This question has come out of frustration more so. We’re working hard to remove vehicles and reduce air pollution within Oxford as a whole, yet the people causing the traffic in their cars seem to get off with what i thought where no consequences. So there is a second question i have. Are car drivers exposed to less air pollution that they caused due to being inside a metal box? Most people including me i think would comfortably assume you’d be exposed to less pollution from within a car.
Oxford as a whole is notorious for having high air pollution levels anyway, mainly caused by traffic flowing around the city. It’s not a new revelation, this is happening to many cities in the UK with london being the main focus.
I wanted to find out more about my question though and stumbled across a guardian article where they compared exactly this.
You can watch the experiment and read the article here
So how much air pollution am i being exposed to? a lot less than most other modes of transport but i’m still being exposed, so ways to bring down the total amounts are still highly beneficial.
Are cars exposed to less? evidently not, There is something reassuring about the fact the people causing the damage are the most effected by it’s damage. What isn’t reassuring is seeing there children point and smile at our weird and wonderful cargo bikes from the back seats. It’s knowing these people drive those children to school exposed to this invisible menace. Drive there grandparents in the back seats exposing them too and in the end are increasing there own risks linked to air pollution.
I liked the ending to the video, we all need to do more to bring down the total air pollution within a city to make it better for everyone. I think if this was more widely known, it would make people think twice and encourage that gut wrenching fear within to do something about it and force about a bit of change in lifestyle.
I quick finish is again from the guardian, a study showed that walking and cycling even whilst breathing in polluted air is beneficial to your health rather than having a negative effect, again you can read it here and it’s again reassured me i’ll just keep on riding and doing my bit.