The National Asthma Council Australia has called on Australian car manufacturers to take the respiratory health of Australians more seriously by installing cabin air filters in all vehicles and informing consumers what filtration car models have.
A review of the top eight models of Australian-made cars sold in June 2013 shows only the Toyota vehicles have cabin air filters fitted as standard (although their brochures make no mention of the fact they do).
Surprisingly in one of the world’s most asthma affected countries, Holden and Ford only provide particulate filters as an option in their Australian-made models, and generally do not have an option at all for activated charcoal filters.
According to National Asthma Council Australia spokesperson and allergist, Clinical Associate Professor Sheryl van Nunen, there are reported cases of serious motor accidents caused by people with hayfever sneezing whilst driving.
“In Spring, in particular, asthma attacks may be triggered by pollen allergens that could be reduced in a car by having effective filters in place,” she said.
“Allergy symptoms of congested sinuses, runny and itchy noses, and itchy eyes can also be a distraction to drivers and both asthma and hayfever cause fatigue, adding to the difficulties sufferers face when travelling.”
Properly fitted and serviced particulate filters should trap dust, pollens, fungus spores and possibly some pet allergens, while activated charcoal filters are intended to filter toxic, unpleasant and smelly gases, which can also trigger asthma symptoms.
With more than one third of the population prone to allergic responses, it is surprising how hard it is for car-buyers to find out if the car they are considering even has cabin air filters, let alone their effectiveness.
Manufacturer brochures and websites are poor at providing useful information about cabin air filtration to consumers, with cup holders apparently being considered more important features!
Australian Car Filter Survey – June 2013
Conducted by National Asthma Council
|Australian made car models||Rank||Particulate filter||Activated charcoal filter|
|Ford Falcon Ute||6||Option||No|
|Biggest car brands overall||Rank||Have filters||Brochures|
|Toyota||1||Most have particulate, with one having activated charcoal as well||No information|
|Holden||2||Some have particulate fitted, with it being available as an option for others. Very few have activated charcoal present, or as an option||No information|
|Hyundai||3||All have particulate only||Some brochures|
|Ford||4||More than half have particulate fitted, with it being available as an option for most others. Around half have activated charcoal present.||Some brochures|
|Mazda||5||All have particulate only||Yes|
* Manufacturer brochures and websites were sampled for disclosures about the presence and type of filters.
The Reputation Group
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