According to the World Health Organization (WHO), 99% of the world population inhales air that does not meet air-quality standards. This air is often heavy with particles that have the potential to penetrate deep inside the lungs and the bloodstream, causing life-threatening illnesses.
The presence of particulate matter – the coarse PM10 and the fine PM2.5 in particular – leaves the majority of the population vulnerable to both short-term and long-term health hazards. Upon entering the body, these particles are known to trigger respiratory, pulmonary, cardiovascular, neurological, and cerebrovascular (stroke) impacts. Individuals with underlying health conditions, infants and young children, smokers, adults over 65, and people with heavy exposure to contaminated air are more vulnerable to health risks induced by particulate matter.
The abundant emergence of PM10 and PM2.5 pollutants mainly result from man-made activities like excessive automobile usage and coal-fired power plants. As the world embraces radical changes to curb air pollution like opting for electric vehicles, scaling up green emergence, moving away from fossil fuels, and separating out various types of waste, contributing to the change at an individual level makes a large difference. Read on to know how taking certain steps can contribute to cleaner and healthier air.
Steps You Can Take To Improve The Air Quality Around You
While improving atmospheric air quality is not a one-man-fight, small changes and precautions can bring massive changes over time. For instance, the 2020 lockdowns brought about noticeable changes in the air quality when anthropological activity seemed to be at its minimum. The following collective steps taken by individuals within the same area can help curb urban air pollution and bring out dramatic changes in the local air quality:
1. When planning to buy a car, the environment-healthy option would be to invest in an electric car.
2. Other alternatives to using a diesel automobile for short travels on a regular basis would be to cycle, carpool, walk, or take public transport instead.
3. Try to find zero-emission alternatives when it comes to burning just about anything, including the charcoal on fire or the fuel in a vehicle. Avoid burning wood or trash since soot is one of the most common particle pollutants.
4. Use less energy at home by following the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s tip for at-home energy conservation. This can be monumental in terms of curbing greenhouse gas emissions, boosting energy independence, and ultimately improving air quality. A great approach to energy saving would be relying on solar panels or air/ground-source heating.
Protecting Yourself In Areas With Heavy Pollution
While clean air can be achievable in the near future, taking appropriate steps to stay protected in heavily polluted areas is indispensable to avoid any health risks down the line.
Stay up to date with the air pollution forecasts each time stepping outdoors becomes necessary. Avoid exercising in areas that come on a high pollution radar and limit the time children spend outdoors where the air quality is poor.
Usage of masks can be critical to avoid any harmful pollutants from reaching the respiratory passageways and causing dangerous health risks. When investing in a mask, it’s critical to ensure it filters out any or all pollutants from reaching you. AusAir’s high-filt masks are designed to keep the smallest of particulate matter (including PM0.1) at bay and thus avoid any air pollution-related health conditions in the long run.