New British report recommends air filtration in schools and hospitals near air pollution hotspots

European Union’s air quality standards finds it unacceptable that UK citizens could have their health impaired until air pollution problems are resolved.
© Simon Birkett 2015

In the United Kingdom, the Environmental Audit Committee (EAC) released (Nov. 26) its third report on air quality in five years – "Action on Air Quality" – stating that air pollution remains "the invisible killer" in the UK, costing the lives of an estimated 29,000 people per year. The report urges the British government to meet the European Union's air quality standards and finds it unacceptable that UK citizens could have their health impaired until air pollution problems are resolved.

Among other measures, the report calls for updating the UK's air quality strategy, meeting EU nitrogen dioxide targets, introducing low emission zones in cities to reduce air pollution and control vehicle emissions, and establishing best practice for tackling air pollution across the UK. The goal of these actions is to reduce the tens of thousands of deaths currently being caused by nitrogen dioxide and particulate pollution in British cities, the report states.

The report also recommends the introduction of a planning system to ensure that buildings such as houses, schools, hospitals and nursing homes are not placed near major road intersections or other pollution hotspots.

The report comments, for example, that more than 1,000 existing schools could be fitted with air filtration systems, where necessary, if they are sited in areas where outdoor air quality is poor, and if they lack proper mechanical ventilation or air filtration. To reduce the need for car travel and cut vehicle emissions, such as harmful diesel exhausts, schools should have adequate public transport links and be easily reached by cycling or walking from surrounding communities to encourage "active travel" and create low emission zones.

Camfil UK's commentary to report

Camfil UK, Camfil's subsidiary in the UK, commented on the report in a news release issued December 8 – "Over 1000 schools require air filtration to combat deadly pollution according to EAC" – available under "OTHER NEWS" on

The release, in essence, comments that all non-residential buildings in the UK should comply with British and European standards EN13799 and EN779:2012 for air filtration. Camfil UK also notes that complying with these standards should be cost-neutral for schools and other facilities with mechanical ventilation, if they use low-energy air filters, and if needed, standalone air purifiers.

Effective filtration improves indoor air quality (IAQ) and reduces concentrations of particulates and gaseous contaminants to protect health. It also helps lower absenteeism for students and staff and improves energy efficiency, among other key benefits.

In urban areas with air pollution problems, Camfil has a wide range of air filters and air purifiers to meet applications and needs. Products like the Hi-Flo™ series of filters for high particle removal efficiency, and molecular air filters like City-Flo XL™, CityCarb™, City-Flo™ and CitySorb™, maintain high IAQ in city schools and buildings with mechanical ventilation systems. When supplementary room filtration is required, Camfil's new line of mobile City air purifiers also effectively improves IAQ further. Several standalone models are available for particle or molecular filtration or a combination of both. Information about these products is available on or from your local Camfil company.

Link to the full EAC – report:,0,0,0,0

Link to comment by Joan Walley, Chair of the EAC:


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