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Health is one of the top concerns for many, as sustaining and improving your health is a leading pursuit among the masses.
When we think about health, however, it is common to associate this word with exercise or diet, but broadening the scope of our outlook on health can help promote our pursuit in the overall betterment of our comprehensive health.
We tend to lose sight of potential health hazards in our environment that could be a detriment to our health, leading to possible diseases and health conditions.
One environmental risk we tend to ignore or forget to consider is the health effects of the polluted air we breathe.
Have you ever thought about the looming dangers present in the very air you breathe?
Air pollution in recent years has become one of the world’s major environmental health risks to humans, with over 7 million deaths in 2012 related to air pollution according to World Health Organization (WHO)(1).
Air pollution is all around us, regardless of where you are, whether you are outside on the polluted streets or inside the confinements of your presumed “safe” home.
Recently, researchers have found several links to conclude that air pollution has a direct impact on your health and can lead to several potential diseases including allergies, asthma, and even obesity.
Below we are going to discuss the effects of air pollution on human health and ways to reduce air pollution in your environment to improve your overall health.
Air Pollution and Health: How Does the Environment Affect Humans
Did you know that you must extract 420 liters of oxygen for human survival to be able to function?
With a total of 10,000 liters of air a day entering your lungs.
When you have high quantities of air pollution in your air, imagine the potential health hazard you place yourself in just by performing this essential task of life.
The environment you place yourself in can have a significant effect on your health, and your indoor environment may be even more hazardous than your outside environment.
Indoor air is a major source of air pollution exposure, as more than half of the air your body intakes during your lifetime is air inhaled in your home (2).
There can be many sources of indoor air pollution that can lead to this hazardous environment to your health.
Key Sources of Indoor Air Pollution
Key sources of indoor air pollution can come from the most unsuspecting of culprits in your home.
The main sources of indoor air pollution in your home could be building materials used in the construction of your home, new carpeting in your home, off-gassing furniture, lit candles releasing carcinogens in the air, and toxic cleaning products used in the pursuit to clean your environment.
All of these items in or used in your home could be producing chemicals and toxins in your environment leading to indoor air pollution.
To add on to this issue, the lack of ventilation in most homes can create an even more hazardous environment to your health(3).
In recent years, homebuilders have started constructing homes “tightly” to help reduce energy costs and to promote green living.
However, although this construction is helpful in some respects it can, on the other hand, be a downfall to your health as air is not being circulated out of your home, creating an accumulation of pollutants filling up your home’s air.
Health Effects of Air Pollution – Symptoms to Look Out For
Air pollution in your environment can have a significant impact on your overall health.
In studies, conducted researchers found a plethora of health symptoms that were linked to exposure to air pollution (4).
This list of symptoms from air pollution includes:
- Tired or strained eyes
- Headaches (sinus or migraines)
- Pain or stiffness in your back or shoulders
- Tension or nervousness
- Dry, itchy irritated eyes
- Sneezing and/or coughing
- Sinus congestion
- Difficulty concentrating
- Wheezing or shortness of breath
Diseases Caused by Air Pollution
The effects of air pollution can be severe and very impacting to your overall health, with the potential of developing some serious diseases.
In a recent published analysis by the Global Burden of Disease (GBD), they found that exposure to air pollution and particulate matter was ranked globally as one of the top 10 risk factors for disease(5).
Here are the top three effects of air pollution on human health.
Forget about allergy season, allergies could be all year round if you have indoor allergens trapped in the confinements of your home.
Indoor allergens in your home can include dust mites, pets, cockroaches, and even mold.
Even chemicals and VOCs in your environment caused by cleaning products or furniture can be a culprit of allergens in your home, as an allergic reaction can occur when some people come into contact with these pollutants.
If you begin to have symptoms of allergies when in your home, it is important to take notice on when exactly the symptoms begin, whether that be when you pet your dog or whenever you get done cleaning your house.
Wheezing, coughing and the closing of your throat are just a few symptoms someone plagued with asthma might experience.
A study conducted with a group of young children outdoors found that these kids were 40 percent more likely to have acute asthma episodes on a summer day with high pollution levels, showing the direct relationship between asthma symptoms and air pollution.
When we are looking at potential asthma-inducing allergens or particulates in your home’s air that could be causing asthma symptoms, one major culprit to look at is mold-induced asthma.
Mold in your home produces little spores called mold spores that can travel in your air and create a hazard to your health when ingested.
These tiny mold spores can be the cause of most mold-induced asthma symptoms.
Weight gain could be due to a number of reasons from life situations, other health conditions, stress, poor diet, lack of exercise and more.
However, could the polluted air you are breathing be yet another cause of weight gain and obesity in the population?
In a Beijing study, led by Yongjie Wei, it was found that pollution could lead to obesity.
They tested a group of rats to unfiltered air and another to filtered, clean air and the results were astounding.
The group of rats tested in the unfiltered air had a significant weight increase in comparison to the other group of rats that were exposed to clean air(6).
When you think about the chemicals and substances in our air, it makes sense that it would have some type of an effect on our body, and obesity can be a direct sign of something wrong in the foundation of your life.
Ways to Reduce Air Pollution in Your Home
Reducing air pollution in your home can be done with some alterations to your lifestyle and with the assistance of some helpful resources.
Changing out toxic products in your home could be one step in minimizing air pollution in your home, like swapping out your toxic candles with an oil diffuser, or even switching your cleaning products with a non-toxic chemical free product instead.
These little changes, although small can be a big help in reducing air pollutants.
However, when you are dealing with pollutants that are airborne challenges can start to be presented in remedying this issue.
Having an effective air purifier in your home can significantly reduce air pollution in your home’s air.
The EnviroKlenz UV Mobile System is effective at both eliminating air pollutants and removing odors from your home’s air.
This two-stage air filtration system utilizes both a patented earth mineral technology that takes care of odors and VOCs, as well as a hospital-grade HEPA filter that removes particulates up to 0.3 microns in size.
This system has the added protection of UVC (ultraviolet germicidal radiation) lights that shine above the HEPA that kills microorganisms (bacteria, viruses, and mold spores) on the filter with a high efficiency of a kill.
The hidden hazards in your air can be significant for your health and lead to an array of potential health conditions.
Finding ways to better improve the air in your environment can help to not only improve your environment but to improve your overall health.
 (Vijayan, Paramesh, & Dalal, 2015)
 (Sundell, 2004)
 (Jaret, 2000)
 (Lukcso, Guidotti, Franklin, & Burt, 2016)
 (Vijayan, Paramesh, & Dalal, 2015)
 (Lee, 2016)