Why Shield Your Children From Dirty Air When Driving? … And How Best To Do It

That air pollution remains a serious threat to public health is widely known. However, studies are now indicating that children, for a variety of reasons, are potentially more susceptible to its effects than adults. The American Lung Association’s State of the Air Report for 2010 says, (www.stateoftheair.org/2010/facts/) air pollution “shapes how kids’ lungs develop.” According to Clean Air Council (www.cleanair.org), a Pennsylvania-based environmental advocacy group, majority of recent evidence indicates that now more than ever the environment is having an influence on our health and that of our children.


The Council states, that children, by virtue of their physical size and lifestyle, are more exposed to pollution and also more susceptible to its adverse effects than adults. Whether at school or at home, on the soccer field or at a softball game, children are more likely to be exposed to outdoor pollution. They are also more likely to being driven to these venues in cars, vans or SUVs that potentially only add to their exposure. Particulate and exhaust fumes such as fine dust, diesel soot, pollen bacteria and nitrogen oxides enter the vehicle through the vents and concentrations of these toxic substances inside can be higher than at the side of the road in urban traffic conditions.

All this when children’s immune systems are not developed enough to be able to resist and overcome the toxins they encounter. Plus, because they are young, there is plenty more time for these toxins to get absorbed into their systems and affect children’s growth and development. However, the news is not all bad for parents and guardians who want to shield their young charges from environmental toxins … especially when driving or stuck in traffic even if the vehicle’s windows are rolled up in the car. The Skinny On Air Quality Inside Your Vehicle “The air inside your vehicle can sometimes be even more polluted that the air outside,” said Kevin O’Dowd, spokesman for MANN+HUMMEL Purolator Filters, a leading supplier of automotive filters to the aftermarket in North America.

Many motorists are not aware that, for more than a decade, most cars and light trucks (1995 and newer) have been factory-equipped with cabin air filters that are designed to clean the air that you and your passengers breathe. If a filter is clogged it can actually multiply the dangers from particulate matter and other pollutants that get trapped inside a vehicle and blown about when the air conditioning system or heating system is in use Furthermore , the contaminants that build up on a filter over time, become a breeding ground for mold and mildew growth. So, according to O’Dowd, even if you roll up the windows and turn on the air conditioning before you get on the road, the vehicle’s interior is still vulnerable to environmental pollution – if the cabin air filter is not clean. “If you want to actually see the value of cabin air filters, just ask your auto service professional to show you an old, dirty one,” said O’Dowd. “One look at a clogged cabin air filter will convince you that there’s a great deal of dust, dirt, and other contaminants floating around in your car’s cockpit. Breathing that debris can be damaging to your health, especially if you happen to suffer from seasonal allergies or ailments like asthma,” O’Dowd explained.

Investing In Your And Your Children’s Health “A good rule of thumb, therefore, is,” as O’Dowd suggested, “to replace the cabin air filter about every 12,000 to 18,000 miles to ensure that you and your family breathe clean, fresh air.” Purolator offers two types of BreatheEasy® cabin air filters – the standard particulate filter that traps all types of airborne particles including those originating from molds and spores and an upgraded filter that also removes unpleasant odors from the air like pungent, stinking and placid odors.

The standard BreatheEasy filter features a non-woven scientifically engineered media formed into a multi-layer design with pleats, which provides more surface area to filter out pollen and particulate matter. These filters are also electrostatically charged to ensure that even the minute particulate matter gets trapped in the filter media similar to many household HVAC filters. Other features include foam perimeter gaskets and an injection-molded frame, when specified by the vehicle manufacturer. The upgraded BreatheEasy filter, on the other hand, features an activated charcoal filter layer that adsorbs most toxic and foul-smelling gases, such as ozone, nitrogen oxide, sulfur dioxide and hydrocarbons. Cabin air filters are easy to replace. But, where do you find the cabin air filter in your vehicle? “The cabin air filter is normally located in the cabin air intake, under the dash or sometimes behind the glove box,” said Nuñez. “Replacing the filter generally takes anywhere from 10 minutes to an hour, depending on its location and the design of the vehicle.”


BreatheEasy cabin air filters are available for most late-model domestic and import vehicles. They are packaged with clearly illustrated vehicle-specific instructions for many makes and models that make installation simple for do-it-yourselfers (DIYers) or professional technicians. Vehicle-specific instructions are also available on the Web site so the motorist can determine the skill level needed to replace the cabin air filter. The cabin air filter may be called by a number of different names: pollen filter, air-conditioning filter, passenger compartment air filter, interior ventilation filter or dust filter. Purolator recently introduced a new microsite www.BreatheEasyCabinFilters.com that targets the concerns of women motorists, especially moms, and offers tips on how to locate and purchase it and a host of frequently asked questions. MANN+HUMMEL Purolator Filters manufactures and supplies high quality automotive and heavy duty filters to the North American aftermarket and original equipment manufacturers. Inventor of the automotive oil filter in 1923, Purolator has, since then, pioneered more than 40 ‘firsts’ in the filtration industry.

In fact, the first automotive oil filter was called a ‘Purolator,’ short for ‘pure oil later.’ Currently, the Purolator brand has more than 2,000 part numbers for automotive, light truck and heavy-duty applications. Purolator’s advanced aftermarket filters include: -PureONE and Purolator Classic oil filters -PureONE and Purolator Classic air filters -BreatheEasy cabin air filters -The ‘forgotten filters,’ including transmission filters, fuel filters, breathers and PCV valves.

To learn more about Cabin Air Filters, call Smiths! (215) 348-9459