Houston, can you see the air pollution?

by Katy Green

shoptobegreen.com

indoor air pollution

Over 40 years ago, a man walked on the moon and the popular toxic source was pollution thanks to a resurgence in local PCB dumping in rivers and oil spills – fast forward to present day and developing countries like China and India (the world’s fasting growing populations) are included in the top 10 most polluted and toxic countries according to the Black Smith Institute.

Why does this matter today?

Well air pollution causes millions to die every year and the World Health Organization  claims that indoor pollution is responsible for the deaths of more than 1.6 million people worldwide.

Americans have reduced their toxic waste by 50 million tons since 1970 (Information Source EPA) but we still have a long way to go and it helps to be informed.

Did you know indoor air pollution can lead to:

  • Eye, nose, and throat irritation,
  • Increased risks of respiratory and ear infections function in children
  • Bronchitis, lung cancer
  • Flu-like symptoms
  • Pneumonia
  • Increased risk of heart disease. 

The most popular indoor pollutants are gas heaters, gas appliances, wood and gas-burning fireplaces, leaking chimneys and furnaces, tobacco smoke and automobile exhaust in attached garages.

There are many ways to reduce some of these harmful pollutants in your home:

    1. Stop smoking. There is so much information available on the dangers of smoking that it is not necessary for me to list. If you must smoke go outside or get an air filter in every room of your house.
    2. Gas Appliance and Furnaces should be checked at least once a year to make sure there are no leaks and place carbon monoxide and smoke detectors in your home especially in the kitchen.
    3. Use exhaust fans whenever you use the stove for long periods of time
    4. Change filters on heating and cooling systems often. Check your air conditioner or central air unit once a month when in use and if necessary replace the filter at least every two months.
    5. If you have an attached garage you should check the air intake from the garage to make sure that you are not breathing car fumes.

 

Information source: Wikipedia, The Black Smith Institute, National Geographic News, World Health Organization.

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