COPD and convertible cars…

Went out with a friend last night – she’s leaving the country today, sadly – and I noticed, this morning, that my sputum was a black as pitch. (Note: This, Fi, isn’t your fault, or the fault of the car – it’s just a fact of life for those of us with COPD.)

This, which I haven’t seen for years (not since I was a biker), is highly indicative of atmospheric pollution, and I’m sure the fact that we were in a hard-top convertible with the top down, for much of the time, thus bypassing the ventilation system’s particulate filter, is responsible.

So why am I telling you this? Well, if you have severe respiratory problems (or less severe that you’d like to keep that way), and are in the market for a new car, my advice, no matter how pleasant driving with the top down on a summer’s evening, with an attractive woman by your side, might be, then a convertible is probably not for you. In the short term, it won’t harm you, but over the life of the car, it conceivably could. For that reason, getting one with the maximum ventilation filtration is essential – particulates in your lungs, whether from diesels or pollen, are deeply undesirable.

The same applies, of course, to driving with the windows down and/or the sun-roof open, though to a lesser degree due to the differences in air flow – I used to drive with the sun-roof open and the ventilation system running, weather permitting – this allowed the air entering to be filtered, and extracted via the roof. You could leave the air-con running, which will also maximise filtration, but in many cars this jacks up the fuel consumption to absurd levels (in 1999 my Ford Ka3 returned 12mpg with the air-con running – I sent it back!)

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6 thoughts on “COPD and convertible cars…

  1. I hope you enjoyed getting out and about Ron. Did you just go for a drive, or did you stop somewhere nice?

    • If I’d had my way we’d have gone for a meal somewhere. In the event we stopped at what is widely touted as the best chippy on Wirral (if not in the known universe), in West Kirby. And it truly does excel – at mediocrity. It should be impossible to screw up something as simple as fish and chips to the degree they did, but they managed. Utterly crap.

      My first time out since September, and it could have been so much better. Aaaargh!!!

  2. oh heck i hope my daughter doesn’t see this.she is always on about me going out in cars not being good for me and my breathing. i dont like the air con on either.it tends to make me feel congested. and cough ,,you know the little tickly ones that are a nuisance.feel much better with a window open. and no i dont normally cough much and if i do cough up its clear…. at the moment. i always felt that the end justified the means in as much as without someone takes me somewhere in a car, i get nowhere, and if the journey is out into the Yorkshire dales/moors or coast then i get fresh air to counteract anything from the fumes of cars on the motorways and my peak flow is always that bit higher the morning after such a journey.

  3. I never really thought about riding in a convertible in that way before. But it makes a lot of sense and that is definitely good information! Thanks for the great post!!!

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