Is air quality something we really need to concern ourselves with? Is there really any big threat that the air we breathe every day is having a negative impact on our health? Or is this all just fear-based propaganda to get us to purchase all sorts of expensive, and at the end of the day, useless products to make us believe that we are doing something that is making a difference?
The topic of air pollution is not new, and neither is the debate as to just how great a concern it is or if it’s part of some “conspiracy theory!” Let’s start with agreeing an understanding that while air quality may be a global concern, air quality is not equal across the globe. What I mean is that depending on where in the world you live, the air quality is going to be different than someone living in a different country, state or even city. Several factors influence the air quality in the area you live and that may mean more pollutants being present in the air you breathe.
Here is a fun fact for you … according to the World Health Organization air pollution is the greatest environmental health risk in the world, having been the reason for 7 million deaths in 2012. (1) I bet you are paying a lot more attention now … that’s good. What else do you need to know? Keep reading.
If you have not heard of, or are not familiar with ground-level ozone and particle pollution, please read up on these. Both of these are what top the list as far as the biggest culprits, having the greatest impact on air quality. And in the United States alone, it is believed that 200 million people live in areas where ground-level ozone and particulate matter exceed the acceptable standard. (2)
While ozone is helpful above the clouds, the same cannot be said for ozone near ground level. Ground-level ozone is the result nitrogen oxides and volatile organic compounds reacting with sunlight. And while you cannot see or smell ground-level ozone, it is dangerous to humans, animals and plants. It is also a particular health threat to people with respiratory issues such as asthma, COPD and other respiratory diseases.
While the EPA works to monitor air quality and the presence of air pollutants, and while other organizations work to legislate air quality control measures to ensure that we the air we breathe is more safe than not, is this enough? Well let me ask you this, have you ever flown into LA?
If you have, you would have noticed that lovely brown layer that blankets the city to the point that you really cannot even see LA until the plane descends below that murky, brown SMOG!
You have very little control, if any to make much of an impact on the air quality in the city you live. Yes, you can do things as far as lifestyle habits to reduce trash and fossil fuel emissions, etc that can help support a cleaner air environment, but the truth is we need EVERYBODY on board doing these things to see and feel the difference more globally. And you and I know that not everyone is going to. So what can you do? You can do things to improve the indoor air quality in your home! Your home is one environment that you do have control, over so you may as well take advantage of that and make your home a “safe air environment.”
The air pollution in your home can be every bit as bad for you as the outside environment, and with statistics showing us that the average American spends almost 87% of their time indoors, it may be time to up your home air quality game. Here are 5 things you can start doing RIGHT NOW to improve the air quality in your home:
If you have an air conditioner, change the filters regularly.
Change the air filters in your home regularly.
Control the humidity in your home to reduce the risk of molds and mildew.
Keep your carpets and area rugs clean.
Get some live plants to help filter the air naturally.
When cooking be sure turn on your kitchen vents and/ or open a window.
These may seem like small insignificant practices, but trust me, these will add up to making a massive difference in the quality of the air in your home for you and your family.