On Thursday 28th April at 2pm the CO Research Trust will present the findings of a preliminary study by independent study project, AirSafe (www.airsafe.london), into carbon monoxide (CO) levels within passenger vehicles. The study was set up by Dr Sophie Duggan after her own car exposed her family to CO fumes.

The CO Research Trust provided funding to carry out a small study to investigate signs of CO leakage into the passenger cabin of vehicles. A number of *studies have shown that CO levels within the passenger cabins of cars approach, and in some cases exceed, WHO limits. Further studies also indicate that this is likely to be due to internal leakage of exhaust gases, rather than to simple ingress of external pollution.

To date however, no comparable study has been published within the UK.

The public health implications of this are clear: chronic CO exposure contributes to many forms of ill-health, including cardiovascular disease, loss of white matter in the brain, and developmental disruption of the unborn. The potential scale of in-vehicle CO exposure is furthermore very high, particularly for young children, who are well-represented in the population of those who travel in cars every day.

Dr Duggan said. "Deaths due to carbon monoxide poisoning are, tragically, all too frequent; disease due to carbon monoxide exposure is like to be very widespread. However, it became clear to me that in order to influence policy on in-car air quality, it would be necessary to produce clear evidence of the scale of the problem. The AirSafe study is my response to this: an independent research project, supported by the CO Research Trust.”

While the study carried out by AirSafe includes a small sample, the findings are concerning. Results showed that from a sample size of 32 cars, 19 (59%) showed signs of CO leakage into the passenger cabin. The CO Research Trust and AirSafe are now looking at ways to take this work forward.

To sign up to the presentation, please sign up here.


About the CO Research Trust

The CO Research Trust is a registered charity which was established in 2005. The vision of the charity is a world where people are not exposed to carbon monoxide (CO).

For more information please contact

Natalie Fleck

CO Research Trust


*Potcher, Oz et al 2014, Duci, Chaloulakou et al, 2003

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