Dirty urban air ‘can increase risk of dementia’
Latest research showing that living in a polluted area can increases the risk of dementia by up to 40 per cent is very worrying, said a Midlands green energy expert.
Scientists believe there is growing evidence that dirty urban air can damage the brain as well as causing lung and heart problems with tiny soot particles and chemicals entering the body.
One of the authors of the report, Frank Kelly, professor of environmental health at King’s College London, said their calculations suggest that the danger increases by 7%, which equates to approximately 60,000 of the total 850,000 dementia cases in the UK. On top of that 210,000 people are developing the disease each year in Britain
“Obviously cutting traffic fumes should be the first priority,” said Ron Fox, of Noreus Ltd on the University of Keele Science and Innovation Park. “Secondly, we must speed up plans to clean up our cars, vans and lorries now and not wait until 2040 for most vehicles to have zero emissions.
“The Government should also introduce a national clean air bill, clean air zones in the most polluted areas and put more investment into other alternatives to the car, such as safer cycling routes and more affordable and convenient public transport.”
He said as well as the effect on health, harmful pollution can also affect property prices of homes near main roads.
One report by a professional home buyer and property agent said that poor air quality could reduce the value of a residence by up to 15 per cent.
Ron said that although traffic pollution was a problem for governments, residents could cut pollution inside their homes.
These include not having open fires, avoid smoking indoors, increasing ventilation when cooking, using carbon monoxide detectors and not burning candles.
Another problem is that poorly maintained roofs and broken tiles are a major source of pollution entering the home.
Autumn is a good time to have the roof checked and sort out the problems before winter sets in and there’s an emergency.
Ron said the simplest and easiest way is to hire a drone and a thermal imaging camera.
“Many householders do not realise it is much easier than hiring expensive scaffolding, or a cherry picker, or sending a person up a ladder on to what could be an unsafe area.”
Also some areas may be off-limits because of tight angles or out of sight in a valley between roofs.
“Once we have cleared a flight plan with the relevant authorities the technology of a drone allows us to pinpoint specific areas with far greater accuracy,” he added
Ron said it detects missing or defective insulation; air leaks and moisture in cavity wall insulation; excess water on flat roofs; inefficient seals round doors and windows plus revealing where energy is being lost from the building.
For more advice on green energy or having a free roof check contact Ron on 0845 474 6641 or go to www.noreus.co.uk