title: Reducing Risk

Ceramic filters reduce pollution

Microscopic particles from diesel fumes can travel deep in to the lungs. They have been linked with problems such as bronchitis, asthma, heart disease and lung cancer.

Diesel engines are efficient and commonly used in cars, buses and lorries. New ceramic filters are working to cut down their emissions.




What are particulates?

In the UK, vehicles contribute about 25% of the particulates in the air. Hazards are caused by particles ranging up to 10 micrometres (millionths of a metre) in size and are called PM10's. A US study concluded that 20% of lung cancers in urban areas were caused by inhaling PM2.5's. These smaller particles can penetrate deep into the lungs and cause disease.

Exhaust fumes from car engine












Know your particulates

Try these questions on PM10's (10 micrometres) and PM2.5's (2.5 micrometres).

How far can PM10's travel in the air?

100's of km

How long can PM2.5's stay in the air?

Few minutes
Few hours

Which particles travel further into the lungs?