It is necessary to protect yourself from air pollution in order to reduce the consequences of long term exposure to high concentrations of air pollutants and maintain good health. The following are some simple ways to protect you and your family from the dangers of air pollution. While every single one of us are affected by air pollution, those who have pre-existing health conditions like lung, heart or respiratory diseases, asthma and allergies are particularly vulnerable.
- Download an app that will allow you to check the daily air pollution forecasts in your area. When the air quality is dangerously high, make sure to stay away from those areas. Alternatively you could stay up to date by checking local TV weather reports and local news.
- When air pollution levels are high, avoid doing outdoor activities or exercising outside. Instead, walk around a mall or go and exercise in a gym.
- Stay away from roads with vehicle pile ups and high traffic as these areas will have high emissions of air pollutants.
- Avoid burning wood or trash as this is a major source of particle pollution, if these particles are enclosed in an area for a long period of time, being breathed in can cause dizziness, headaches and nausea.
- Invest in a dehumidifier or air purifier for your home. A good air purification system will help for better circulation in your house and decrease any indoor air pollutants that might be present such as pollen, smoke or irritants that have found their way inside.
- Keep your windows closed at home to further help circulation and filtration and prevent air pollution from getting inside and being inhaled.
- If exposed to high levels of air pollution one way to relieve the onset of any symptoms is to drink green tea. The antioxidants in green tea can help counteract the exposure to air pollutants. These antioxidants preferentially react with free radicals and toxins found in air pollution to prevent them from reacting with our cells.
- If it is necessary for you to travel to an area with high levels of pollution, make sure to wear a mask that filtrates fine particles – avoid cloth masks as fine particles may still be able to penetrate it.
- To protect yourself and others, aim to reduce other forms of pollution by driving less and limiting use of gas powered equipment
Although it will take some time before appropriate solutions are found to counter the increasing levels of air pollution, what we can do in the present is to stay conscious of our surroundings and minimise our exposure to air pollution in order to remain healthy and prolong life.
National Home Security Alliance. (2018, January 9). How to protect yourself from harmful air pollutants. Retrieved October 10, 2021, from https://staysafe.org/how-to-protect-yourself-from-harmful-air-pollutants/.
Mine, A. (2020, September 23). 8 tips to protect yourself from unhealthy air quality. Fresno State News. Retrieved October 10, 2021, from http://www.fresnostatenews.com/2020/09/18/8-tips-to-protect-yourself-from-unhealthy-air-quality/.