It is a known fact that pollution is causing the deaths of several people around the world. In fact, in a report that came out in October, pollution was ranked as the number one cause of death among individuals worldwide.
Scientists at the Icahn School of Medicine in New York City found that air pollution, exposure to man-made chemicals, and water contamination claimed nine million lives in 2016, and that at least one in six deaths around the world was caused by those three forms of pollution.
Air pollution accounted for 6.5 million deaths in 2016 – according to medical journal The Lancet – which caused stroke, chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder, heart disease, and lung cancer.
A report that was released during the third week of November associated high pollution levels to brittle bones and a higher chance of incurring osteoporosis in advanced age. Also, the Royal College of Physicians issued a report that showed that pollution in the air of Britain is “too dangerous to breathe” in 44 out of the 51 towns that were included in the study.
In a piece for the magazine Healthista, Southampton University immunopharmacology expert Stephen Holgate revealed some of the best ways that we can deal with air pollution, and keep ourselves protected at the same time.
Professor Holgate said that the U.K. has one of the highest pollution death rates in Europe. “It's not like the smog of the 1950s, where you could see it, taste it, and almost feel it. This pollution is invisible, so it is hard to understand the extent of health damages.”
“Around 200,00 people have their symptoms increase due to chronic exposure to pollution. It is even more damaging during pregnancy, and pollution can affect the way the lungs of the fetus develop, increase prematurity, increase stillbirths, and increase the risks of young babies developing infections when they're born,” Professor Holgate added.
Last month, London Mayor Sadiq Aman Khan introduced a T-charge or emissions surcharge of 10 British pounds on gas-guzzling cars to fight air pollution, since diesel cars are the ones taking most of the blame for the rise in nitrogen oxide levels in British air.
But as normal citizens, what can we do to guard against the harmful effects of air pollution? Professor Holgate recommends these 10 tips.
Open your windows. Having your windows open for 15 minutes a day can make a huge difference to the pollution levels in your house, as doing so can do wonders for humidity issues and ventilation challenges. This is a good practice for when you are using strong cleaning products, painting, or after you just finished cooking. The winter might not make opening your windows conducive; you could use an air purifier or dehumidifier in that area. An air purifier absorbs smoke, pollen, and other irritants inside your house while a dehumidifier obtains the moisture from the air, killing mold and stopping the threat of bacteria. You might also want to invest in house plants as they release oxygen in the atmosphere during the process of photosynthesis.
Drink more green tea. Doing this does the body a lot of good for green tea is considered as a strong antioxidant, meaning it can stop bodily deterioration due to the influx of toxins. Other sources of antioxidants include yellow, orange, red, and purple fruits and vegetables.
Use apps to avoid high pollution routes. Subscribe to apps that show you which areas are the most polluted ones; for instance, CityAir can determine when the pollution level is high and can give you personalized advice to lessen both your emissions and your exposure to pollution, while CleanSpace Air Pollution shows you the benefits of your clean travel choices, and is able to tell the level of pollution inside buildings and closed spaces.
Drive less, walk more. Pollution can be four to five times higher inside a vehicle than in the outside, so being inside your car doesn't actually protect you from the effects of air pollution.
Use natural cleaning products. Cleaning products nowadays contain harmful chemicals; this is why it's important to buy all natural and organic cleaning products; for instance, instead of using sponge, try a natural loofah.
Find an anti-pollution beauty regime. Always remember to take your makeup off and wash your face at the end of the day, especially if you live in the city, because the dirt and pollution that clings to your skin during the day have a way of finding themselves inside your body.
Write to your local officials. According to Professor Holgate, it is important that you ask your local official to act on this essential matter, and “that more information is provided about local air quality around where people live, travel, work, shop, and go to school”.
For more stories regarding pollutants and other harmful substances that permeate in the environment and the body, read Toxins.news today.