Understanding How to Deal With Particle Pollution
Many people learn about things like particle pollution in school, but aside from that fact, it usually isn’t something that most people typically think about.
However, it is something that everyone should think about because it can make a real difference in the lives of both you and the ones that you love.
What is it?
Everyone has seen that gloomy, hazy looking sky where it is obvious that some type of pollution is permeating the air. It either involves small particle pollution or the larger, more coarse particles. The small particles are caused by things like fires, the use of automobiles and aircraft, wood burning stoves, industrial facilities, power plants and factories. The larger particles are the result of road dust, agricultural activities and quarry operations.
Is it dangerous?
Pollution in any form can be exceptionally dangerous. In fact, it has been linked to all kinds of diseases that are serious and even potentially fatal. Examples include heart disease, including an increased chance of heart attack. People also have a greater chance of experiencing a stroke as well as asthma and other problems with lung function. In other words, pollution can cause something as aggravating as coughing and wheezing to the more serious diseases that have the potential to cut one’s life short. The problem is, the more that you are exposed to it, the greater the chances that you will experience a more severe reaction to its presence.
Who’s at the greatest risk?
While everyone can be harmed from being exposed to pollution, some people are more susceptible to it than others. Typically, the very young and the very old are more likely to experience complications as a direct result of being exposed to any type of pollution. In addition, those who already have serious health problems, especially problems with the lungs or the heart, are far more likely to have those problems exacerbated by the pollution. Individuals who are pregnant are also at risk because the fetus can be harmed by pollution. There is also quite a bit of evidence to support the fact that individuals who are at risk for serious complications as a result of obesity or diabetes are even more at risk when exposed to pollution, as one problem has a tendency to piggyback off the other.
How do you stay safe?
The best way to stay safe is to avoid being outside for extended periods of time when pollution is at its highest. It is vitally important to get the forecast every day, paying special attention to the air quality alerts. It is equally important to maintain good health so that many of the complications that people experience from being exposed to pollution can be minimized. If you must go outside, try to stay indoors as much as possible and only be outdoors when absolutely necessary. This might mean changing your workout from an outdoor run to an indoor routine or running errands on another day. If you must spend an extended amount of time outdoors, use proper equipment to protect your health, such as wearing a mask and long sleeves.
Is it really safe indoors?
It is just as important to stay safe indoors. Sometimes, people create their own problems without even realizing it. Avoid wood burning stoves, don’t smoke and refrain from lighting scented candles. Make sure the air ducts are frequently cleaned out and that a HEPA filtration system is used. This can keep the air as clean as possible and prevent many of the complications that might otherwise be experienced.
What can you do?
In addition to staying safe, you can do your part to become part of the solution as opposed to being part of the problem. Carpool or walk to work whenever possible, or take public transportation. If you must drive, ensure that your automobile is in good working order so that it is not producing excessive emissions. Use only energy efficient appliances and equipment in your home and install an energy-saving thermostat. Turn the temperature a few degrees higher in the summer and a few degrees lower in the winter to ensure that the system doesn’t run excessively. Finally, don’t burn leaves, trash or anything else in your yard. By following these tips, you can do your part to protect the environment and help ensure that you minimize your exposure to pollutants in the first place.