Once upon a time, clean water was free. But this is rarely the case anymore. You can still get air for free, but like water, the quality can vary tremendously from one city to another.
Oxygen is one of the most essential elements you need to live. Without it, you’d die within a few minutes. The quality of the air you breathe affects your health and possibly your longevity. Most people take air for granted, but those who have contracted lung cancer from living in highly polluted areas understand more than most, the value of fresh air. FoxNews
Fresh air is in jeopardy for all of us. That’s why each one of us needs to act now before it’s too late.
Fresh air is one of the few life-sustaining things that companies haven’t figured out how to charge for . . . at least not yet. But they’re indirectly causing us to move in that direction anyway. One of the most important aspects of your health, air quality, is highly dependent on your local environment.
Some of the most highly polluted cities in the US are in California. Bakersfield, Merced, Fresno, Hanford, Los Angeles, Modesto, Visalia and El Centro are all among the top 10 most polluted cities in the US. TIME.
Pay attention to the pollution index in your community. Go to AirNow.gov to check the air quality for more than 300 cities across the US. Or if you want to check the weather and air quality at the same time, use WeatherBug when you’re planning your daily activities. On days when the particulates are high in your area, you may want to cut back on physical exertion in order to minimize the toxins your lungs absorb.
Some of the main sources of air pollution include transportation fumes, power plants and industrial and agricultural emissions.
If clean air is one of your top priorities, you’ll achieve this quickest by moving to a location known for its fresh air. This may be a solution for some people, but it’s not a realistic solution for most. Although you may not be able to stop air pollution in your community, there are several things you can do to help protect the air in your community.
Get around by biking or walking as often as possible. Not only is this good for your community, living an active lifestyle is good for your health. When you’re out and about, do what you can to avoid breathing in exhaust fumes, especially in traffic jams or at red lights.
Avoid vehicles, parking garages and drop off areas. Parking garages tend to concentrate exhaust fumes, especially those that are underground. Above ground parking garages generally have better ventilation, but even they can be troublesome when there are a lot of cars coming and going, or in any areas where cars queue to enter or exit the garage. Drop off areas at airports can also be particularly toxic since people often leave their cars running while loading or unloading their luggage.
Eat whole foods grown as close to home as possible. When you buy local, you cut back on the pollution caused by the transportation and distribution of those goods. Buy whole foods such as fruits, vegetables and bulk foods with little to no packaging. Not only are processed foods less nutritious, they also create a tremendous amount of waste. Cut back on the amount of meat you eat and you’ll help to cut back on factory farm emissions.
Take time to walk among trees. When was the last time you were in a deep forest where the air was so fresh you could smell the life of the dirt and plants? Trees help to purify the surrounding air. Since 1982 the Japanese government has been promoting shinrin yoku (forest therapy). Although it does your body good to walk in general, walking in a forest has added benefits. It can lift your mood, lower your blood pressure and help to calm anxiety. Mother Earth News. If you don’t live near the woods, become active in local organizations working toward creating more green spaces in your community.
Be an advocate for clean air. Become familiar with the biggest perpetrators of air pollution in your community and support local agencies helping to reduce it. The more people who speak up, the more likely you are to instigate change. Particle Pollution and Your Health
Be conscious of indoor air you breath. This is especially important if you spend a lot of time indoors. Here are several things you can do to help reduce your exposure to indoor airborne pollutants.
Grow plants indoors. Plants produce oxygen and purify air at the same time. One study conducted in Norway revealed that simply having a plant within view of a workstation can help reduce employee sick leave. Mother Earth News. If you can’t add plants, freshen your indoor air with essential oils. Never use products like Febreeze, Glade or other plugins and car air fresheners. They don’t freshen the air at all. They mask odors, but most of them also add toxins to the air. Dr Ben Kim
Open the windows. Whenever possible, avoid buildings with fixed windows, ones that don’t open. This is especially important in newer buildings where glues, carpeting and all the new construction materials are release toxins. It can take years for some of these toxins to air out. Older buildings may have other issues with indoor air such as mold. Before you book a hotel, check to see if they offer operable windows or balconies. Choose open air restaurants, preferably ones where there’s little or no traffic nearby.
Choose smoke-free environments. Don’t smoke. If you do, you take 5-10 years off your life expectancy. Although it’s especially important to avoid restaurants, bars and other places where you may be exposed to second-hand smoke indoors, it’s important to do so outdoors as well. Keep your distance from smokers. As more places ban smoking in public areas, this is becoming easier. The World Health Organization (WHO) urges countries to make all indoor spaces 100% smoke-free. “The evidence is clear. There is no safe level of exposure to second-hand smoke.” WHO
Wear a mask. Wear a mask anytime you’re around auto body shops, construction zones, paints or other areas where fumes may be toxic. Masks are commonly used in Asia for many reasons, not only for allergies or asthma, but also to prevent passing colds onto others in highly populated areas. Some also use them to protect themselves from pollution or airborne viruses or bacteria. If you choose to buy one, be sure to check the quality and recommended uses. There are many different types.
Buy an air filter as a last resort. No company has quite figured out how to charge people for air yet, but in some of the world’s most highly polluted cities like Ahwaz, Iran, people have to pay for air filtration if they want to minimize their exposure to air pollution. Some filters only remove pollen from the air, but others also remove chemicals. If you’re concerned about your indoor air quality, you may want to purchase a high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) air filtration unit which helps to purify the indoor air you breathe. This is a way to protect your own air, but unless it’s running on solar power, it just adds more pollution back into the environment anyway.
Air pollution is a mist-demeanor. BadPets bumper stickers