Ruth Border from United Kingdom

My eldest son became very ill with Bronchiolitis several times as a baby in the winter of 2015 and then again as a one-year-old in 2016. It was alarming to see him struggling to breathe. At our local A&E the doctors asked if our flat was damp. This was alarming to hear, but this wasn't the case for us. The weather being damp was also not a factor, as I grew up by the sea (which is extremely cold and damp in winter) and I had not heard of this lung condition before.

One A&E doctor suggested that Bronchiolitis is more prevalent in London due to the higher levels of pollution. This piqued my interest in the quality of the air around us.

When I was pregnant with my second in 2018, the midwife at my antenatal appointments had me take a Carbon Monoxide breathalyser test at each appointment. When I walked, the test was green. When I drove my diesel car, the CO levels were very high to the point where the midwife would ask if I was smoking and to get my boiler checked out at home. At no point was the fact I had driven in my car taken seriously or considered a factor. If there were breathalyser tests for everyone to measure for car emissions, I think we would find we are breathing in a lot more toxic air than we realize.

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