Even though you can’t see the fine particles of pollution in the air around you, they’re there. And they’re affecting our health.
A new report published last month by the World Health Organization stated that 92 percent of the world’s population breathes what it terms ‘unhealthy air’, contaminated with atmospheric pollution. They attributed 6.5 million deaths worldwide per year directly to indoor and outdoor air pollution. Many millions more are affected through its effects on chronic disease.
Studies show association with increased infertility, and potential disruptive effects on fetal hormone levels and lowered birth weight when mothers are exposed to air pollution. Heart disease, lung disease, and cancer are also increased with increased exposure to air pollution particles. Immune disruption, including increased risk for autoimmunity and allergic disease, rise. At the clinic, we make air quality a consideration for every patient who is unwell or who wants to promote optimal health and longevity.
One of the best things you can do to reduce your exposure to air pollution is purchase a high quality indoor air filter. IQ Air is top of the line and very effective, but you can also find good options at lower price points; check out the consumer reports guide. You can also look for HEPA filters in your vacuum cleaner. Other good ways to minimize indoor air pollution is to minimize your remodeling activity and new furniture purchases, which can be a significant source of toxin particle exposure and off-gassing. Choose “green” building supplies when you need to.
To minimize outdoor air pollution, avoid running next to busy roads if you can. You can also get information about outdoor air pollution where you live from the American Lung Association or NPR’s air pollution map.