BY: AISHA ILYAD
The World Health Organization (WHO) has named air pollution as the world’s largest environmental hazard. Don’t assume that you’re safe just because you’re healthy. Air pollution can threaten anyone’s health. It’s important to be aware of how you feel on high pollution days and take steps daily to help protect yourself. While many countries are planning large-scale measures to bring down or rather eradicate air pollution, we as individuals should still be making small changes. Here are some simple, effective tips for protecting you and your family from the dangers of air pollution.
Track air pollution forecasts in your area
Download the weather forecast apps on your mobile device. Give a look and plan your day accordingly. Other sources include local radio and TV weather reports, newspapers and online websites. Knowing ahead of time can help you prepare.
Encourage people to stop smoking outdoors – and indoors too
Be it at home or on the streets, cigarette smoke creates massive air pollution. Before you destroy your lungs from being a passive smoker, encourage your peers to quit smoking. Smoking not only kills an individual, but also pollutes the environment to a great extent.
Don’t burn wood or trash
Burning firewood and trash are among the major sources of particle pollution.
Avoid exercising outdoors while pollution levels are high
When the air is bad, walk indoors in a shopping mall or gym or use an exercise machine. Limit the amount of time your child spends playing outdoors if the air quality is unhealthy. Either go for a walk in the morning when vehicular movement is less or exercise indoors to stay away from the side effects of inhaling polluted air. Exercising outdoors should be avoided near high traffic areas and in places with high C02 levels.
Make an effort to stay indoors
If you find air pollution in your area very high, make an effort to stay indoors. Staying outdoors during high levels of air pollution can lead to asthma, heart attacks and other forms of lung and heart diseases.
Use less Energy in your Home
Generating electricity and other sources of energy creates air pollution. By reducing energy use, you can help improve air quality, curb greenhouse gas emissions, encourage energy independence and save money.
Take walking routes and avoid crowded streets
Busy roads with higher vehicle movement tend to have more air pollution than walking routes or silent residential areas. If possible, take walking lanes and avoid crowded roads. Always avoid exercising near high-traffic areas. Even when air quality forecasts are green, the vehicles on busy highways can create high pollution levels up to one-third mile away.
Eat well to help your lungs withstand air pollutants
Good food and healthy lifestyle keep you away from becoming a victim of air pollution. Have food items which are rich in Vitamin A, C and beta-carotene. Grapefruit, broccoli, papaya, butter, avocado, potatoes and carrots are some of those items that can help you have a healthy heart and lungs.
Bottom line: Help yourself and everyone else breathe easier. Support national, state and local efforts to clean up sources of pollution. Your life and the life of someone you love may depend on it. We all can then lead a healthy life.