title: Reducing Risk
Emissions from exhausts can be limited with ceramic filters that remove the particulates.
See how the filters work.

 

The graph shows levels of particulates in different parts of the UK.

Click for a text description of the graph.

 

graph: average levels of PM10's in 2000

Not surprisingly, city centres show the highest levels of PM10's. London is particularly high. One estimate says that nearly 80% of the PM10's in London come from traffic exhausts.

A level of 50 microgrammes has been set as a safe maximum, but long term exposure to lower levels could damage health.

These are the average levels over a year. This means there will be some times when the levels are higher than they are in the graph. Could this cause serious health problems? Levels in central London have been known to reach over 80 microgrammes per cubic metre.C

 

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Hazards from PM10's

The UK Government categorises air quality on a scale of 1-10.

Scale
Pollution band
PM10 level (ug.m-3)
Health effects

1

Low

0 - 49

Unlikely that any effects will be noticed. Possible risks from long term exposure.

2

3

4

Moderate

50 - 74

Sensitive individuals may notice mild effects. Asthma sufferers may have more attacks. Elderly and those suffering from lung diseases show shortness of breath.

5

6

7

High

75 - 99

More significant effects on sensitive people. Elderly and asthmatics should reduce time spent outdoors.

8

9

10

Very High

100+

Worsening effects on sensitive people. Prolonged exposure may result in hospitalisation.