Health is both within and out of our control. In some ways, we can significantly impact our health with strategized efforts on our parts only, and in other ways, we rely on others. For example, the air we breathe.
A staggering approximation of 95 percent of the population on Earth breathes polluted air. We know that pollution is present around us, but what are the effects on our health?
Effects of Air Pollution
According to the Spare the Air Organization of Sacramento, it depends on three factors, the amount of time you are exposed to polluted air, pollutants, and concentrations you’ve been exposed to, as well as the state of your health.
What Happens Short-term
Short-term contact with polluted air can aggravate the lungs causing illnesses such as asthma. Chances of developing a respiratory disease are increased, and those with existing heart conditions can experience the effects of the aggravation in the form of a heart attack or irregular heartbeat.
According to Spare the Air, those most prone to developing adverse effects on their health are children under 14 years old, outdoor athletes and workers, elderly, pregnant women, and those with lung or heart disease.
What Happens Long-term
Those who are exposed to polluted air long-term may lower their life expectancy. They can develop lung disease and other harmful effects on the lungs. Including, decreased function and strength, as well as premature aging and degeneration.
Exposure to high levels of pollution in the air can experience immediate health problems. Overworking of the lungs, cardiovascular or respiratory illness, and respiratory cell damage are just a few.
What You Can do to Minimize Damage
Consumer Reports regarding the United States’ air quality recommend several tactics for reducing the impact that pollution can have on the fitness of your health.
Reduce Your Part In It
Consider efficiency alternatives such as hybrid and electric cars, choosing other methods of transportation, or making the switch to solar energy.
Optimize Your Health
Take steps to make sure that you are in good health concerning diet, cholesterol, physical fitness, and blood pressure.
Filter Your Home Air
Consider using an air purifier or monitor system. Air monitors are an excellent way to become aware of the air quality you are breathing. Air purifying systems should be changed every 90 days for those with pets, and every 6-12 months on average otherwise.
Mind Your Exposure
If you’re one to spend a lot of time outdoors, be mindful of the rates of pollution that are local and limit time spent in highly polluted areas.
A Note from GR8NESS
Though our air has suffered, steps can be taken to ensure that we are improving it for ourselves as well as future generations. Organizations such as EPA are working toward solutions, but it will take a global effort to bring air pollution numbers down.