Air pollution: is it even more hazardous than we think?

Air pollution is fast becoming a major hazard. Already proven to affect the lungs of those who are exposed to it on a regular basis, new research has proven even more worrying. Study from the University of Leicester has revealed that air pollution can change the way in which bacteria behave, affecting us further. It’s been found that black carbon, one of the major ingredients of air pollution, can actively alter the bacteria inside our bodies, particuarly in our lungs, nose and throat. By changing the way bacteria grows inside out bodies, we are exposed to a higher risk of infection and respiratory issues. It will also have a detrimental affect on the role of antibiotics, which are all ready being threatened by superbugs. Some moves have already been made such as this one to curb emissions in cities so hopefully we’re on the road to a cleaner, fresher future.

Air pollution bacteria

The pathogens Staphylococcus aureus and Streptococcus pneumoniae were found to have an increased resistance to penicillin after exposure to black carbon. Image credit University of Leicester

Here are just some ways to help prevent air pollution in our cities when out on the road:

  • Cycle or walk to work and social events. Even taking the bus or sharing a lift is better than driving solo.
  • Invest in a car that has low diesel or petrol emissions or even an electric or hybrid car.
  • Make sure your tyres are properly inflated.
  • Hsve regualr car check ups to ensure it’s running smoohtly.


All these things are easier said than done, but if we all band together it can be achievable.