IKO Carrara: Cleaning the air our children breathe

IKO Carrara Roof

Did you know that just 500m² of IKO Carrara can clean the pollutants from two to three diesel cars?

Air pollution is one of the most pressing problems facing society today and politicians at all levels are under pressure to find a solution. Although diesel cars produce 15% less CO2 than petrol, they emit four times more nitrogen dioxide pollution (NO2) and 22 times more particulates[i]: tiny particles which can damage the lungs, brain and heart.

In response, IKO PLC have developed IKO Carrara: an ecological roofing membrane which helps to purify the air surrounding it. IKO Carrara’s mineral finish is coated with a special type of titanium dioxide (TiO2). UV rays from the sun trigger the process of converting harmful nitrogen and sulphur oxides (NOx and SOx) in the atmosphere into harmless and environmentally neutral substances.

If you didn’t do A-Level Science at school, it’s likely you might not be familiar with NOx and SOx. NOx is one of the most dangerous pollutants in our atmosphere and has been linked to several health conditions including breathing difficulties and heart disease. The primary culprit is diesel engines and according to tests on 61 new diesel vehicles conducted by Which[ii]?, 80% exceeded the NOx limits. The tests were conducted in “real world” conditions, unlike standard laboratory tests which do not capture data from how people typically use their cars.

Since 2010, nitrogen dioxide levels have been above legal limits in 90% of the UK’s urban areas. In Greater Manchester alone, 64,000 people were admitted to hospital with breathing difficulties in 2016; over 14,000 of which were children under the age of four. Most alarmingly, scientists have now discovered that children are at particular risk as dangerous levels of air pollution are often higher inside of vehicles than outside of them[iii].

The problem is, perhaps unsurprisingly, most acute in London. Despite the congestion charge and a new “Ultra Low Emission Zone” coming into force later this year, thousands of adults and children in the capital are inhaling nitrogen dioxide levels which breach legal limits[iv].

IKO Carrarra helps to neutralise these dangerous pollutants, almost acting as an “air purifier”. This makes it an ideal solution for public sector applications, for example, on school and college roofs and with a life expectancy in excess of 30 years, there is no need to worry about the product failing. To learn more about how IKO Carrarra can help your next flat roofing project become more environmentally friendly, please visit: https://www.ikogroup.co.uk/product/iko-carrara/


[i] https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2015/sep/22/the-rise-diesel-in-europe-impact-on-health-pollution

[ii]  https://www.independent.co.uk/environment/diesel-cars-air-pollution-emissions-which-tests-nitrogen-oxides-nox-a8496121.html

[iii] https://ilovemanchester.com/if-you-think-smoking-is-bad-for-you-get-a-lungful-of-this/

[iv]  https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2017/feb/24/revealed-thousands-of-children-toxic-air-london-nitrogen-dioxide