What’s the number one cause of human death?
You might choose one of the major diseases such as cancer or heart disease.
Or maybe malaria, which has killed millions in Africa and Asia.
Smoking is another major underlying cause of mortality.
Of course, coronavirus is currently unleashing rampant death around the globe.
But a new study finds that one killer is far more lethal than any of these.
The research appeared in the journal Cardiovascular Research. Scientists analyzed air pollution around the world.
The study found that polluted air caused 8.8 million deaths in 2015, making it the world’s biggest killer. It surpassed in the same year:
- 7.2 million deaths due to smoking.
- 1 million caused by AIDS.
- 600,000 from parasites and insects.
- 450,000 from malaria.
- 530,000 from all types of violence, including wars.
Professor Jos Lelieveld was the study co-author. He said “both the number of deaths and the loss in life expectancy from air pollution rival the effect of tobacco smoking and are much higher than other causes of death.”
In fact, the study authors believe air pollution health damage is so widespread that it should be labeled a pandemic.
Another new study shows dirty air causes heart disease and dementia. Researchers at Sweden’s Karolinska Institutet followed almost 3,000 seniors for up to 11 years. The study found that air pollution damages heart function, which in turn can lead to dementia.
Author Dr. Giulia Grande said the study found that air pollution plays a role “in the development of dementia, mainly through the intermediate step of cardiovascular disease and especially stroke.”
Because heart disease speeds up cognitive decline, “We believe exposure to air pollution might negatively affect cognition indirectly,” said Dr. Grande.
5 Ways to Stop Air Pollution from Wrecking Your Health
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. It’s the type linked to dementia in the Swedish study cited above.
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.”
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.
- 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 breathe 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 cutting your life short.
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.