Tips to Protect Yourself from Air Pollution

By on October 19, 2019
Air pollution

Air pollution can be indoors and outdoors. It’s a mix of gases and particles that can cause harmful effects to people, animals, and the environment. According to the data from the WHO or World Health Organization, an estimated 4.2 million people died prematurely in 2016 due to air pollution. About 90% of these cases are from third world countries. There are also 3 billion people who heat and cook in their homes through coal, kerosene, and biomass that make them more susceptible to health problems.

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Animals and humans have increased health risks when exposed to air pollutants such as nitrogen dioxide, sulfur dioxide, and carbon monoxide. Some of these health risks include respiratory problems and cancer. They may also affect the environment and burning of fuels is one of the leading causes of pollutants affecting nature. 

Due to the worsening of air pollution, many local governments and organizations are coming up with strategies to combat it. For instance, the UN Environment, Climate, and Clean Air Coalition and WHO, partnered together in a campaign called BreatheLife. It is a global project for cities to implement policies to protect the planet and people’s health from air pollution.

Private businesses are also doing their part in contributing to the cleaning of the air. According to an article by Independent, the Athenaeum Hotel in London was one of the first companies to have a living wall in the UK. It does not only add to its curb appeal but most of all, it helps improve air quality. Living walls in UK properties are increasing in popularity, and some of the companies that have jumped on the bandwagon are Wynwood Restaurant and Yves Rocher.

Cleaning the air is not an overnight thing as it is a continuous process. While the process is ongoing, you can protect yourself from its harmful effects and here are some ways to do that.

  1. Determine the level of air pollution around your area to see if it’s safe for you to go out or it’s best to stay indoors. The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs in the UK has a pollution forecast on their website that shows a 5-day forecast in different locations.
  2. Avoid areas that have high traffic. The gas coming from motor vehicles can cause various diseases if breathed. Find alternative routes or avoid rush hours by going in early to work, school or your destination.
  3. Avoid smoking, whether indoors or outdoors. Ask family members to stop smoking too. They are not only putting their health at risk but that of their loved ones, especially the effect of second-hand smoke, which is more severe.
  4. Go for manual equipment than using one that is gas or electric powered. Burnt gas produces harmful substances, and more coal needs to be burned to generate more power, which also contributes to air pollution. 
  5. Do not burn garbage or wood as it’s also one of the leading causes of pollution in the air. Instead, segregate and dispose of your waste correctly.

A bonus tip is to carpool, bike or walk. It doesn’t only save money on fuel, but it is also one way of doing your part in cleaning the air.

 

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Tips to Protect Yourself from Air Pollution