How to Protect Yourself From Air Pollution At Home

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Even if you don’t live in an extremely urban area, you may still be breathing in dangerous toxins every day without realizing it. Here are a few tips and facts on air pollution, and how to protect yourself and your family at home…

While air pollution may not be a topic you spend a lot of time thinking about in your everyday life, the fact is that nearly all of us in the modern world are exposed to air pollution on a daily basis – and it can take a serious toll on your long-term health, even if you aren’t aware of it. Young and unborn children are particularly susceptible to airborne toxins, but they can impact everyone to some degree.

According to this article,

Researchers have linked air pollution with health problems such as childhood asthma, pregnancy and birth complications, and heart disease. Pollution and environmental risks are responsible for 1.7 million child deaths worldwide each year…

If you think this doesn’t apply to you as you don’t live in a highly populated urban area, think again. According to a study done by the World Health Organization in 2016, as much as 92% of the world’s population may be breathing air that does not meet the WHO standards for clean, healthy air!

Even worse, as this article explains,

Although these numbers are considerable, the estimates of poor air quality may be conservative, as WHO did not factor in ozone or nitrogen oxides, which are known pollutants. This current report considered elevated air pollution levels of sulphates, black carbon, mineral dust, ammonia, nitrates and sodium chloride.8

This spells bad news for human health world-wide, as the article explains:

Poor outdoor air quality has been linked to health conditions such as cardiovascular disease and stroke, and is responsible for at least 3 million deaths a year. Nearly two-thirds are in the Western Pacific region of the world, and Southeastern Asia.15

Poor outdoor air quality has also been linked to both chronic and acute respiratory diseases, such as asthma and lung cancer.16 According to the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), air pollution that originates from industrial exhaust and traffic is also linked to bladder cancer.

It’s enough to make you never want to set foot outdoors, isn’t it? But wait – in fact, staying indoors just makes the matter worse! According to some studies of human exposure to toxins, indoor pollution levels may be two to five times higher than outdoor levels in some areas.

This article goes on to explain further:

Two primary sources of indoor air pollution are a) the materials used to construct the building itself and everything in it, including your furniture, and b) chemical products you bring into your home. Common culprits include aerosols such as hair spray and room deodorizers. Many of these sources release volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that have both short-term and long-term health effects.

Paying careful attention to these two broad categories can go a long way toward improving your indoor air quality. When rebuilding or refurbishing your home, be sure to look for “green” materials that are free of toxic chemicals. This goes for everything from furniture, upholstery and carpeting to wall construction materials and paint…

Here are a few tips for reducing your exposure to toxins in the air inside your home:

Filter Your Air

Commercially purchased air filters may change measurements of health, include lowering the amount of C-reactive protein and other measurements of inflammation and blood vessel function.28

Not all filters work with the same efficiency to remove pollutants from your home and no one filter can remove all pollutants. See this article for an explanation of the different types of air filters to meet your specific needs.

Decorate With Plants

House plants are as functional as they are decorative. They brighten your space and purify your air. Research also demonstrates that greenery in your environment improves your mental and emotional health.

These are the top 10 plants to improve air quality:32 aloe, English ivy, rubber tree, peace lily, snake plant, bamboo palm, philodendron, spider plant, red-edge dracaena and golden pathos.

Remove Harsh Cleaning Products and Scented Chemicals

Most over-the-counter and grocery store cleaning products contain chemicals that contribute to poor indoor air quality. Air fresheners and scented candles can contain VOCs that pollute the air in your home.

The American Lung Association recommends reducing the amount of VOCs in your home by reading labels and purchasing products low in chemicals. Soap and water, or vinegar and baking soda can serve as inexpensive alternatives.33

Open the Windows

One of the easiest ways to reduce the pollutants in your home is to open the windows. Because most newer homes are energy efficient and have little leakage, even opening a window 15 minutes a day can improve the quality of the air you breathe.

Service Your Appliances

A poorly maintained furnace, space heater, hot water heater, water softener, natural gas heater or stove and other fuel burning appliances may leak carbon dioxide or nitrogen dioxide. Have your appliances serviced per the manufacturer’s recommendations to reduce potential indoor air pollution.34

Take Precautions Around Busy Streets

Car exhaust fumes contain both large and small particulate pollutants that may enter your car or travel into your home.35 If possible, choose a place to live away from busy streets in order to ventilate your home without car pollution.

When in busy traffic, shut your car windows and don’t use the function on the heating and air conditioning that brings in air from the outdoors.

Read more on this issue at Mercola.com

 

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