Pollution is any additives to an environment that turn it into a harmful ecosystem for existing life in the area. The most common environmental pollution in residential areas is water and air pollution. It may be easier to deal with water pollution by purchasing treated water, bottled water, or cleaning water sources. However, air pollution is a little more difficult to deal with. And its harms are more far-reaching than most are aware of.
Studies also show that increasing global temperatures due to climate change are also worsening the impact of air pollution. Outdoor air pollution is predominantly caused by greenhouse gas emissions, burning fossil fuels, or fires. Biomass fuels, smoking, and gas and charcoal stoves cause indoor pollution. The air pollution index shows that Kolkata, India has the worst air quality in the world. Nairobi is the 34th city with the worst air quality in the world.
How Climate Change Affects Our Daily Lives
How does air pollution affect your health?
Air pollutants include smog (smoke mixed with fog that occurs at ground level), soot, and noxious gases. These toxins increase the risk for pneumonia, heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and emphysema—blockage of the lungs from repeated exposure to pollutants. A study conducted over 14 years on the impact of pollutants worldwide found that fossil fuel combustion led to over 9 million premature deaths. In addition, most of these were due to heart attacks and strokes.
People who are pregnant, older, young, and with pre-existing heart conditions are more vulnerable to air pollution. Living near a manufacturing facility, a densely populated city, and low-income areas are also more high-risk. 12 Natural Remedies For Chest Congestion And Asthma
Health – asthma: causes, symptoms, and management
How can you reduce the impact of air pollution on your health?
Moving to an area with less pollution may not be a possible solution. However, there are certain measures to be taken to reduce how much air pollution harms you.
1. Use the air quality index to guide you
Using the index shows the air quality index can help you decide whether to have outdoor activities in your area. The guide shows whether to avoid the outdoors, shut windows, or wear a mask. When working in industrial or processing sites, use N95 masks to keep yourself safe. You can also run your air purifier to keep the air quality indoors safe.
2. Use your car wisely
If you have to drive, try to reduce emissions as much as possible. Don’t leave the car idling for too long. Opt for public transport or ride-sharing to reduce the number of cars on the road. Electric vehicles, bikes, or low-emission hybrid cars are also better for intra-city travelling. 12 Pros And Cons Of Electric Cars
The Truth About Congestion Charges And Other Ways To Reduce Traffic Pollution
3. Replace filters
Purifiers and air conditioners need filters to remove particles from the air that can be harmful. Ensure that your filters are replaced and reduce how much energy the devices are using to clean the air. If you use an air purifier, choose one that has a high clean air delivery rate that can distribute clean air for the whole room it’s used in. Lifestyle: 5 Common Myths About Using An Air Conditioner
Lifestyle: The Pros And Cons Of Air Purifiers
4. Get indoor plants
Purifiers can be expensive and impractical depending on how often you’re in a room. Getting a purifier for a house where one person lives and spends most of their time elsewhere can be a waste of money. However, indoor plants can help clean the air and consume no energy when you’re not home or in your office. A study by NASA found that indoor plants can clean indoor air and reduce harmful gases and volatile organic compounds. These are gases released by products or processes such as tobacco smoking, using electronics, painting, or using disinfectants. 5 Low Maintenance Plants To Upgrade Your Space
Lifestyle: Tips For Buying Houseplants For First-Timers
5. Use gas and charcoal stoves sparingly
When using charcoal jikos, ensure that they are mounted far enough from the house to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning and fire hazards. In addition, avoid overusing your gas cooker. When food is ready, don’t leave it cooking to keep it warm. Invest in hot pots, or use the oven’s food warmer. You can also use isothermal pouches. Use induction or electric stoves to reduce emissions within your house.
6. Reduce the use of harmful products
This includes burning tobacco and products that contain volatile organic compounds. Disinfectants, pesticides, printers, fuels, glues, sealants, deodorants, or dry-cleaning products. To reduce the impact of VOCs, stop using some products like cigarettes. Processes like printing may be unavoidable. However, you can opt for supplies with “low VOCs” on the label. Ensure your rooms are also properly aerated and have proper clean ventilation.
Safety: 9 Common Hazards In Your Home That Can Lead To House Fires
Health Problems Caused By Dry Air Indoors
Health: 7 Benefits Of Deep Breathing Exercises
How Can I Stop Getting Static Shocks? How To Get Rid Of Static In Your Home Or Office
Lifestyle: 5 Common Myths About Using An Air Conditioner