In London, a number of start-up businesses are developing technology to keep residents informed and when possible, protected from air pollution.
One such start-up called Airlabs, is demonstrating a ‘Clean Air Bench’. It may not look like much, but this smart piece of urban furniture has been designed to generate a clean air bubble around it.
Air is drawn in through the back, where the technology traps particles in a filtration system where gas pollutants, such as nitrogen dioxide, are then absorbed.
Clean air is then dispensed from under the armrests and several other grilles. The idea is that the units can be fitted to everything from benches, to bus shelters, to lampposts and city walls.
Initial independent testing by London’s Kings College in July 2016 discovered that an Airlabs test unit removed over 87 per cent of nitrogen oxides.
Airlabs technology is also utilised in industrial settings, such as cleaning air from factories that is heavily polluted.