Air pollution shortens the lives of about 100,000 people every year in the U.S.
(NaturalHealth365) Most of us are familiar with the serious health consequences of air pollution. In fact, many scientists say that it can trigger problems, such as cancer, stroke, heart disease, and breathing issues. However, even if you’re aware of the risk that comes with the polluted air you breathe, you may not fully understand the impact it has on your quality of life – and the length of your life.
For example, in a recent study, scientists estimated that outdoor air pollution shortens the lives of 100,000 people each year within the U.S. Even more alarming, toxic air has been shown to shortens those lives by as much as 10-20 years!
And most of that pollution may not even be coming from your own area; it could be coming from thousands of miles away and resulting in premature death for many. But, most importantly, at the end of this article we’ll highlight the things you can do to minimize your risk.
Secondhand smoke emissions responsible for 41% of air pollution deaths in the U.S.
This study, published February 2020, estimated the total number of air pollution-related deaths caused by any type of combustion emissions, which includes those that come from coal power plants, car engines, and cook stoves. What they discovered was chocking. Around 41% of these deaths linked to air pollution were a result of secondhand smoke emissions that came from across state lines.
This problem is much like what people experience if they’re around secondhand cigarette smoke. While the smoker is endangering their own life, that smoke gets passed to those around and poses some significant health risk to others exposed to it.
When you’re outdoors, air pollution works in the same way, but on a much larger scale. States are emitting pollution that can result in air quality problems for those within the state, but the pollution doesn’t stay there – it crosses state lines and can result in premature death for thousands more people.
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While pollution may be dropping in some sectors with the “Clean Air Interstate Rule,” improvements in vehicle emissions standards, and the Cross-State Air pollution rule, early death due to pollution continues to be a significant problem that must be addressed.
Clean air tips to reduce indoor air pollution
Currently, there’s not much you can do about the outdoor air you breathe, although greater regulations on cross-state pollution are needed to save lives. However, you do have more control over the air you’re breathing in your home, something that’s becoming more important as Americans spend more time indoors than ever.
A few clean air tips to follow to reduce indoor air pollution include:
- Ditch toxic cleaners and personal care products: Skip toxic chemical cleaners and use organic, non-toxic options like a baking soda, water, and white vinegar mixture. And choose all-natural, unscented personal care products instead of those packed with chemicals – especially hair spray!
- Use a high-quality air purification system: For your home, look for one that is large enough for the room size, includes a quality filter, and investigate the clear air delivery rate when purchasing.
- Add indoor plants to your home: Pack your home with plants that clean the air and help remove pollutants like carbon monoxide, formaldehyde, trichloroethylene, and benzene. Some of the best options include English Ivy, Spider Plant, Bamboo Palm, Chinese Evergreen, Peace Lily, Gerbera Daisy, and Mass Cane/Corn Plant.
While you can never completely avoid exposure to environmental toxins, you can take measures to reduce the pollutants you’re breathing in. And doing so gives you a way to prevent any unwanted health problems.
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