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Air Pollution

fleehouse2fleehouse2 Posts: 82
edited April 2014 in Commuting chat
So ignoring the scare-mongering about the high levels of air pollution in London (and elsewhere) today, I did my usual 20 minute blast through central London at 7:30 this morning.

Now sat in the office with a hacking cough and flem....

Good stuff.

Steve
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Posts

  • On_WhatOn_What Posts: 516
    ? just another normal day, I get more issues with the emissions from buses!!!
  • Slight burn in the lungs on the way in, probably no more than usual... but yes... now sitting at work with a weird chesty feeling... that I wish would go away.
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  • I dunno, don't normally have a full on cough when I get in, could be unrelated I suppose.

    Anyone on here wear a mask (should probably look to see if there are already threads on this)?
  • asprillaasprilla Posts: 8,440
    I set my fastest time home yesterday; 'The pollution, it makes you strong!'
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  • bdave262000bdave262000 Posts: 270
    fleehouse2 wrote:
    I dunno, don't normally have a full on cough when I get in, could be unrelated I suppose.

    Anyone on here wear a mask (should probably look to see if there are already threads on this)?

    I have tried one in the past but they are not very pleasant to wear, hot and sweaty plus a build up of snot, mucus is not good. I then only kept it on until I got to Richmond Park, in the end I stopped using it completely.
    Fat lads take longer to stop.
  • iPeteiPete Posts: 6,076
    This latest smog aside my colleagues are always telling me I need to goto the docs but its definitely the pollution, especially being around the buses. Can't bring myself to wear one of those masks, figure I'll do the same as bdave262000!
  • trouble i find with these pollution masks is that you wear them to stop it getting into your system, but when people go out at lunch i dont see them wearing it then and they are breathing the same fumes in, so what is the point in the first place
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  • rubertoerubertoe Posts: 3,994
    I could actually see the smog in the air about 200 meters in front of me. I suffer from alergies as well, so this smog just means that i am more snotty than normal.
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  • GazzaputtGazzaputt Posts: 3,227
    After a hard effort last night I developed a wheezy cough all night that is still with me today.

    The view up the Thames towards London is unreal today with the smog.
  • Graham.Graham. Posts: 862
    Used to live in a little village in Derbyshire in the 60's/70's. Everyone had a coal fire and not this poncy "Smokeless" stuff.
    Combine that with a November fog and you didn't need a weather man to tell you there was a pollution risk.
    Of course it wasn't called pollution then, it was just what happened.
  • goonzgoonz Posts: 3,106
    Not sure about it being any worse than usual, I set some quick segment times this morning and feel fine right now...
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  • rjsterryrjsterry Posts: 18,204
    trouble i find with these pollution masks is that you wear them to stop it getting into your system, but when people go out at lunch i dont see them wearing it then and they are breathing the same fumes in, so what is the point in the first place

    I'd guess you are putting in a bit more effort and breathing a bit harder on the commute than walking round to Pret. I'd encourage people to try using a mask if they have a persistent respiratory problem that appears related to cycling (obviously go to the doctor as well). They take a bit of getting used to and they aren't for everyone, but I much prefer the minor inconvenience of a mask to the irritation of constantly coughing and clearing my throat.
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  • Jamie1966 wrote:

    Oh my god! From the looks of that map, there's a yellow bit only five miles away from my house!
  • MonkeyMonsterMonkeyMonster Posts: 4,628
    rjsterry wrote:
    trouble i find with these pollution masks is that you wear them to stop it getting into your system, but when people go out at lunch i dont see them wearing it then and they are breathing the same fumes in, so what is the point in the first place

    I'd guess you are putting in a bit more effort and breathing a bit harder on the commute than walking round to Pret. I'd encourage people to try using a mask if they have a persistent respiratory problem that appears related to cycling (obviously go to the doctor as well). They take a bit of getting used to and they aren't for everyone, but I much prefer the minor inconvenience of a mask to the irritation of constantly coughing and clearing my throat.

    This - you don't walk to pret right behind a vehicle in the road do you... Normal mask attire for me but eyes are itchier with no issues. Bro n sis both recovering from bad chest inf's were getting better but last few days has been hard on them and that's just shufflin about the house.
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  • rjsterry wrote:
    trouble i find with these pollution masks is that you wear them to stop it getting into your system, but when people go out at lunch i dont see them wearing it then and they are breathing the same fumes in, so what is the point in the first place

    I'd guess you are putting in a bit more effort and breathing a bit harder on the commute than walking round to Pret. I'd encourage people to try using a mask if they have a persistent respiratory problem that appears related to cycling (obviously go to the doctor as well). They take a bit of getting used to and they aren't for everyone, but I much prefer the minor inconvenience of a mask to the irritation of constantly coughing and clearing my throat.

    This - you don't walk to pret right behind a vehicle in the road do you... Normal mask attire for me but eyes are itchier with no issues. Bro n sis both recovering from bad chest inf's were getting better but last few days has been hard on them and that's just shufflin about the house.

    well you are most of the time walking next to a road, with exhaust fumes blowing about all over the place you are still breathing it in maybe a little less v02 in your breathing but again you are still sucking it in?
    Sorry its not me it's the bike ;o)

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  • secretsamsecretsam Posts: 4,549
    Balls

    Just walked across town (45 mins) in the bloody soup, only just found out about it, throat burning and lungs not happy.

    Helpfully, I'm asthmatic. Just fabulous.

    Bloody foreigners dumping their mucky air on us...makes me want to buy the Daily Mail and use it to wipe my ar53

    It's just a hill. Get over it.
  • veronese68veronese68 Posts: 22,917 Lives Here
    At least they know what caused it.
  • RedWheelsRedWheels Posts: 56
    rjsterry wrote:
    trouble i find with these pollution masks is that you wear them to stop it getting into your system, but when people go out at lunch i dont see them wearing it then and they are breathing the same fumes in, so what is the point in the first place

    I'd guess you are putting in a bit more effort and breathing a bit harder on the commute than walking round to Pret. I'd encourage people to try using a mask if they have a persistent respiratory problem that appears related to cycling (obviously go to the doctor as well). They take a bit of getting used to and they aren't for everyone, but I much prefer the minor inconvenience of a mask to the irritation of constantly coughing and clearing my throat.

    This - you don't walk to pret right behind a vehicle in the road do you... Normal mask attire for me but eyes are itchier with no issues. Bro n sis both recovering from bad chest inf's were getting better but last few days has been hard on them and that's just shufflin about the house.

    well you are most of the time walking next to a road, with exhaust fumes blowing about all over the place you are still breathing it in maybe a little less v02 in your breathing but again you are still sucking it in?


    You are more at risk from pollution on a bike then as a pedestrian (in general). This is because the heavy elements in exhaust fumes drop out of suspension quite quickly. Studies have shown that you inhale far more heavy elements by walking by the curb then you do 'shop side'. This can be extended to us poor cyclists who have to park our bike by the rear end of a bus at most junctions

    If this dust is from the Sahara though, it is quite possible it is radioactive due to all the French nuclear tests that were going on in in the Algerian Sahara. . . . Maybe we wont need to wear hi-viz anymore after all this blows over on account of being glow in the dark.
  • rjsterryrjsterry Posts: 18,204
    The dust is just one part of it. The really bad stuff is the NO2 and O3, which has been produced closer to home.

    Most roads in central London, plus the City and Kings X are currently at 7/10.

    http://www.londonair.org.uk/london/asp/nowcast.asp
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  • navtnavt Posts: 374
    Now sure what the fuss is about. I'm asthmatic but been cycling to work like normal. Perhaps in a couple of days I'll be regretting it.
  • Stag onStag on Posts: 99
    Mr Sterry has it. Spent 20 hours in a car with 2 air quality consultants on the way to and from the alps last July so git the full briefing. Apparently air quality forecasts made ten years ago factored in 10% diesel cars. Now we're up at 50 % plus. Diesel engines chuck out a lot of NO2. This is bad news.

    Funny how the Saharan dust was heaviest around the busy routes in London these last few days. It's almost as if it's an easy way for the press to distract people's attention from the fact that much of this pollution is our own stuff. Poor air quality is thought to accelerate the demise of 30000 people a year in the UK , in other circumstances this would be considered a scandal. That the advice is to avoid exercising outside in these conditions if you have health issues is almost a civil liberties issue.

    a lot of bravado on this thread, not surprising as to ride in London requires a pragmatic approach to risk. Personally having spoken to the people who look at this sort of stuff for a living,I won't be riding until it clears up.
  • awaveyawavey Posts: 2,368
    navt wrote:
    Now sure what the fuss is about. I'm asthmatic but been cycling to work like normal. Perhaps in a couple of days I'll be regretting it.

    no Id agree,Im asthmatic and cycled in normally today, and actually Id say its more why the fuss now because Londons air quality in mid-march was worse when it hit higher peak levels, but didnt get anywhere near as much the same coverage, so is it just the saharan dust (which all the experts claim isnt the issue in terms of the harmful pollution) ie its a more visible pollutant thats different.

    and also shouldnt forget as we are now in the throes of Spring, theres alot more blossom,cut grass and pollen about (in fact when I first started seeing the dust on cars I thought it was pollen) which is going to make peoples eyes itch, cough, etc etc.
  • itboffinitboffin Posts: 19,713
    i cut my ride home to 1/3 bloody awful here tonight, choking even with a buff across my mouth & nose, now that's a first for me in my old old old lifetime
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  • rjsterryrjsterry Posts: 18,204
    New face mask made the homeward commute much more pleasant than Tuesday night. Eyes still pretty itchy, but I suspect that is the birch pollen adding to the cocktail.

    As to why it's made the news, while high pollution levels are not unusual in Central London, similar levels are being seen outside central urban areas.
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  • EKE_38BPMEKE_38BPM Posts: 5,980
    I'm a Londoner. I don't trust air I can't see.
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  • t0pc4tt0pc4t Posts: 978
    rjsterry wrote:
    New face mask made the homeward commute much more pleasant than Tuesday night. Eyes still pretty itchy, but I suspect that is the birch pollen adding to the cocktail.

    As to why it's made the news, while high pollution levels are not unusual in Central London, similar levels are being seen outside central urban areas.

    which did you go for? I have a respro sports star arriving today. I figured that even when the pollution level drops the pollen will be high so I thought it worth the investment.
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  • rjsterryrjsterry Posts: 18,204
    Respro City with the Techno Gold filters, which are Respro's top end filters. AFAIK, pollen grains are relatively large, so most filters should have no problem keeping them out.
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  • t0pc4tt0pc4t Posts: 978
    excellent, in all honesty I did not realise that there were multiple filter types you could specify
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  • rjsterryrjsterry Posts: 18,204
    t0pc4t wrote:
    excellent, in all honesty I did not realise that there were multiple filter types you could specify

    I just found out myself that there are two different types of valves - standard and POWA™ - the latter allowing for greater airflow if you are a <ahem> heavy breather. The Techno filters are a bit thicker than the Sportsta, so a bit more work to breathe through, but I only really notice it when riding on the rivet.
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