There’s no doubt that air pollution is bad for your health. Studies show breathing dirty air can trigger heart disease, cancer, strokes, cognitive problems, lung disease, and diabetes.[i]
But, until a new study came out, nobody knew how fast your health improved when you started to breathe cleaner air.
The Environmental Committee of the Forum of International Respiratory Societies looked at what happened in specific instances when the air became cleaner in certain cities.[ii]
Dr. Dean Schraufnagel was the lead author. He described the effects as “quite striking.” Researchers found impressive and unexpected benefits:[iii]
- The 1996 Olympics in Atlanta. Officials expanded public transportation. They closed downtown streets to private vehicles. Soon after, ozone levels dipped 28%. The number of kids needing medical care for asthma attacks dropped more than 40%.
- The 2008 Olympics in Beijing. Smog is a major issue in China. For the Olympic games, the Chinese government cracked down on traffic and factory emissions. Deaths from heart disease and stroke plummeted. So did asthma attacks.
- Utah Valley. When a large steel mill closed, fine-particle pollution was halved. Hospital admissions for lung diseases dropped. As did premature births and the mortality rate.
Dr. Schraufnagel pointed out that dirty air damages the human body more than people realize.
5 Ways to Protect Yourself from Air Pollution
Here are five strategies to reduce your exposure to air pollution:
- Get a HEPA filter. This is a mechanical air filter. (HEPA stands for “high-efficiency particulate air.”) These units are usually small and portable and work just for the room they are placed in. Get one and use it in areas of your home where you spend the most time.
- Don’t exercise near busy streets. If you jog or do any sort of outdoor exercising, keep to parks and nature trails. Don’t run alongside roads where car exhaust saturates the air. You might also consider buying a treadmill and running at home near a HEPA filter.
- Protect yourself in your car. PM2.5 is one of the most hazardous forms of air pollution. Since vehicle exhaust is the primary source of PM2.5, you are in most danger when you’re on the road. Professor Stephen Holgate works on the British Medical Research Council. He says air pollution is “nine to 12 times higher inside the car than outside.”[iv]
Most cars don’t have a climate control system that can filter out PM2.5. The exceptions are high-end cars made by BMW, Mercedes, and Tesla. But you may be able to buy an aftermarket HEPA filter to replace your car’s cabin filter. Bosch makes one.
- Make sure you’re getting enough vitamin B. Columbia University researchers found that air pollution damage to health was “nearly reversed with four weeks of vitamin B supplementation.”
The study participants took 50 mg of vitamin B6, 2.5 mg of folic acid (vitamin B9), and 1 mg of vitamin B12 daily. A quality B-complex formula should do the trick.[v]
- Switch to electric lawn-care equipment. Small gas engines in mowers, trimmers, and chainsaws expose the user to heavy doses of pollutants. New electric versions often do the job just as well while being emission-free.
The purity of the air you breath is as important to your wellness as the food you eat or the water you drink. Make sure that what goes in your lungs is not causing stealth damage to your health.
Editor’s Note: Discover the most effective natural methods to protect and improve your health. Read Independent Healing. It’s your best source for unbiased, evidence-based health information you won’t find anywhere else.