Volvo has revealed its new multi-air filter that virtually eliminates ‘fine dust’ particles entering the cabin, and explained how its ‘Nose Team’ helps Volvo buyer breathe easier.

VOLVO HAS REVEALED its XC90 gets a larger multi-filter that’s capable of removing microscopic, hazardous ‘fine dust’ particles. It’s all part of the brand’s CleanZone initiative which is its approach “to controlling interior air quality and providing a better driving environment through innovative solutions for enhanced wellbeing and health”.

According to Volvo, the multi-filter was designed especially for the SPA platform and so will be used first in the XC90 before being rolled out to other models in the range. The larger design of the filter means it’s able to filter out more particulates and pollen. It also has an layer of active charcoal which is able to remove other dust particles.

Volvo Clean Zone revealed

Overall, the system is able to filter out up to 70% of ‘fine dust’ particles smaller than 0.4 μm. Volvo claims dust particles smaller than 10 µm can “cause a number of health problems, including difficulty breathing and lung infections.

“Up to 45% of the industrialised world’s population is now suffering from some form of allergy or hypersensitivity. Over 10% has asthma. At Volvo, our commitment to safety goes well beyond safety belts and air bags. It’s about making sure that every minute you and your family spend in a Volvo is as safe as it can possibly be. That includes breathing,” says Peter Mertens, Senior Vice President Research and Development. “With this filter we are now at the forefront of the industry in terms of particle separation.”

In addition to the filter, the XC90 also has a clever Interior Air Quality System (IAQS) which, via sensors is able to detect and act if the level of harmful substances becomes too high (driving through a tunnel, for example) and close the car’s air intakes.

The CleanZone initiative, Volvo says, is more than just its filtering of exterior pollutants – it’s internal ventilation system is also designed, when the vehicle is unlocked, to dump the interior air within one minute, removing stale air from the cabin.

More than that, Volvo also considers the products it uses inside the vehicles and has a dedicated ‘Nose Team’ which is helping the brand switch to less toxic materials with fewer harmful additives.

Volvo CleanZone revealed

“Volvo Cars has also implemented a rigorous test programme to monitor and control emissions. This programme includes evaluations by the Volvo Cars Nose Team, whose members smell different objects to determine if their odour is acceptable or too strong. What is known as the ‘new car smell’ is actually low levels of emissions from materials. The levels do not present a danger but on hot days, concentrations that irritate hypersensitive people may occur,” a statement read.

“Another aspect of the programme is the sun simulator test, in which the car is heated until the interior reaches a temperature of 65º Celsius – simulating parking in the sun on a hot summer’s day. The emissions of Total Volatile Organic Compounds (TVOCs) and aldehydes are then measured. Volvo has a very strict limit for TVOCs, since high levels in interior air can cause headaches, nausea and dizziness – and trigger asthma. Aldehydes are also limited because they, especially formaldehyde, can cause both respiratory and contact allergies. Nickel, another source of contact allergies when released from metallic surfaces, is also minimised.”


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