- New health threat takes a back seat only to high blood pressure, poor diet, and smoking.
- Are you breathing in these cancer causers and heart attack triggers? Find out more…
- Discover one simple way to find out exactly which toxins are in your home.
Dear Living Well Daily Reader,
“Go get some fresh air…”
That’s a suggestion you may not hear much longer.
In fact, according to new research, it’s a suggestion you should probably ignore now… if you care about your health.
Not because taking a “breather” is a bad health practice.
No, taking a deep breath can have all sort of health benefits… except when it’s done in a toxic environment.
And according to a disturbing report released by the International Energy Agency (IEA) on Monday, chances are every breath you take has something bad in it.
The report shows that air pollution has become a public health catastrophe liable for the premature deaths of 6.5 million people every year.1
This means air pollution is now the fourth-largest human health threat, just after high blood pressure, poor diet, and smoking.1
But the bad news gets worse.
Without action, death by air pollution will continue to rise. By the year 2040, the estimated death toll will reach 7.5 million.
So why exactly is air pollution deadly?
More Particles, More Problems
Many factors add to air pollution levels including, industrial manufacturing, fossil fuel-based transportation and shipping sources, and even natural occurrences like volcanic activity.
However, according to the IEA’s report, the release of harmful pollutants is mostly due to unregulated production and use of energy, which creates particulate matter (PM).
PM contains acid, dust, metal, soil particles, and mold spores, which not only create air pollution, but are also responsible for reduced visibility or haze (think smog).
Miniscule PM is particularly problematic for your heath, because these tiny particles can get deep into your lungs, and some can even enter your bloodstream.
But more importantly, PM can cause deadly health issues like heart disease, strokes, and lung cancer with long-term exposure.
Not to mention PM can also trigger devastating symptoms like heart attack, aggravated asthma, irregular heartbeat, and decreased lung function through inflammation. 3
In addition to particulate matter, volatile organic compounds ( VOCs) contribute to the health issues associated with air pollution. VOCs are released from fuels, chemicals, and solvents and evaporate into surrounding air.
VOC levels are consistently higher in indoor environments. In fact, they can be up to 10 times higher than outdoors. One reason for this is the use of chemicals, paints, adhesives, cleaners and other household products.
VOCs including benzene and formaldehyde are linked to a range of detrimental health effects like eye, nose, and throat irritation; headaches; loss of concentration; and nausea. More serious heath endpoints include liver damage, kidney damage, central nervous system damage, and cancer.4
However, since most folks spend a majority of time indoors these days, exposure to VOCs and mold spores is likely more prevalent.
Unfortunately, the only universal resolve for decreasing air pollution is to decrease energy production or at the very least, make it more efficient. And since these actions are in the hands of policymakers and energy producers, any possible improvements will be a long time coming.
But there is something you can control – your home indoor air quality.
The first step to take is to figure out exactly what level of air pollution is inside your home.
You can do this with a home air test.
The most comprehensive home air tests use a sampling pump to collect air from your home and then a lab for analysis. I recommend using Home Air Check.
They will mail you a pump and test kit. Once you mail it back in, they will analyze your sample and send you the results and a detailed report of likely sources of VOCs in your home.
This easy-to-read report will also include targeted advice for improving your indoor air quality.
In addition, Home Air Check uses a lab accredited by the American Industrial Hygiene Association. This accreditation takes months to complete and ensures the lab is fully competent in conducting air quality testing.
Click here to discover more about Home Air Check.
We are using Home Air Check to find out what’s in the air here at the Living Well HQ. We will share the results with you as soon as we get them in. Stay tuned for that!
Managing editor, Living Well Daily
P.S. Do you currently use an air filtration system? If so, what kind? Let me know!