Pollutants exist everywhere. Indoor and outdoor air quality are affected by the release of dangerous chemicals and heavy metals into the air, which are also present in the food and water you consume. Rather than risking your health, learn about pollutants and employ techniques that limit their damaging effects on everyday life.
- Indoor pollutants include dust, cleaning supply fumes, pet dander, mold spores and secondhand smoke. Filtering the air by using furnace and air conditioning filters can drastically improve indoor air and prevent allergic reactions or asthma attacks. HEPA filters trap dust and dirt and prevent these pollutants from being released into the air during vacuuming.
- Control indoor air quality by limiting chemical use. Cleaning supplies contain dangerous chemicals and fumes that aggravate sinuses and asthma symptoms. Natural ingredients like baking soda, vinegar, cornstarch and lemon juice are excellent for cleaning the home without damaging your physical health. Properly dispose of containers that have stored chemicals. Cleaning supply bottles, paint cans, batteries and appliances include pollutants and should not be thrown into the trash. Instead, take these products to a recycling center or directly to the local waste management company for safe disposal.
- Damp cleaning cloths remove dust on surfaces throughout the house and even wipe up spills that can harbor mold growth. By paying attention to home cleanliness, consumers maintain a pollutant-free indoor home environment. They also avoid developing allergy symptoms and long-term illnesses that result from exposure to pollutants
Home air quality might be poor, but the air in your office might contain damaging pollutants as well. Allergies and asthma aggravations at work lead to lower employee productivity, wasted time and a decrease in motivation. Implementing a no-smoking policy, scheduling regular office cleaning and limiting heavy scents like perfume, candles or air fresheners can improve an office environment.
While pollutants often adversely affect the indoor air quality at home and work, they also affect outdoor air. Most people need a vehicle to drive to work or school. Consider choosing a newer model that releases fewer emissions, combining errands into one trip and carpooling if possible. Being a little more green cuts down on pollution and improves the overall outdoor air quality.
When limiting pollutants in the air, remember to address pollutants in food and water. Pesticides in crops and hormones in meat build up in a your body over time. Likewise, preservatives, food colorings and artificial flavorings add toxins to your diet. Instead of consuming a diet rich in processed food, eat fresh, organic and natural foods whenever possible.
Like food, water contains dangerous chemicals and contaminants. Chemicals like chlorine and minerals like asbestos leak into the water supply from outdated plumbing and natural deposits. For maximum health, use water filters at home and work. This technology uses activated carbon to attract and trap dangerous contaminants and particulates. While these substances in the water usually do not cause immediate allergic reactions, they can accumulate in your body over time. Illness results and can lead to serious long term health effects.
Present in everything from infant formula to jewelry, heavy metals short-circuit the brain’s receptors and affect memory, emotions and your nervous system. Likewise, they increase free radicals that can lead to cancer as well as heart, kidney and liver disease. Examples include mercury, which is found in tooth fillings, batteries, heating and cooling thermostats and fluorescent lamps. Lead is present in older paint, copper pipe solders, television and computer monitors and low-quality glazed dishware. Find aluminum in infant formula, medications, deodorant and pots and pans. Copper can be found in cooking utensils and plumbing. Iron enriches processed foods. Over time, exposure to these heavy metals or ingestions of products that contain them can cause serious health problems. As much as possible, consumers can limit products that contain heavy metals and find greater overall health.
While limiting consumption or use of pollutants is the first step to greater health, reducing waste also plays a major role in pollutant reduction. Landfills are filled with chemicals, pollutants and heavy metals that leak into the ground, water and air. Whenever possible, purchase products with limited packaging and avoid tossing contaminants into the trash. Choose green products that support environmentally friendly manufacturing procedures and therefore result in fewer pollutants entering air, food and water sources.
Even though you’re exposed to pollutants throughout the day, you can limit your exposure. Use household and water filters, buy green products, eat organic food and properly dispose of toxins at recycling centers to make your life healthier every day.