4 Things about Air Pollution You Didn’t Know

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4 Things about Air Pollution You Didn’t Know

By now, we’ve all heard about the negative impact pollution has on the earth. With this knowledge in mind, we’ve come together and are making an effort to stop littering, start recycling, and keep waste out of the oceans.

This is wonderful and we should keep up the good work, but there’s still work to do. For instance, the amount of pollution we put into the air is still on the rise in many places. While a number of individuals and cities are doing their best to improve on this problem, it’s going to take everything we have to truly combat it.

Fortunately, the situation can be improved and the first step to improvement is education. Looking to educate yourself and others on the negative impacts of pollution? Check out the facts below.

#1. It’s Nothing New

Most people consider air pollution to be a fairly new problem. However, this is far from true.

As far back as the 13th century, King Edward I of England was threatening citizens with harsh consequences for burning sea-coal. This was done in an effort to reduce air pollution, which was already recognized as a problem.

Another huge marker in air pollution history is known as the Great Smog. This happened over several days in 1952 in London and left over 8,000 London citizens dead. The smog was created by waste from fireplaces and area factories that caused severe breathing problems and ultimately led to asphyxiation.

#2. The US is Suffering More Than You Think

Everyone knows about the terrible air quality in Asia. However, many US citizens aren’t conscious of what’s going on in their own backyard. This is unfortunate because the United States is seeing severe consequences of air pollution now and these will only worsen as pollution levels continue to rise.

Want to see the problem for yourself? Take a trip out to the Grand Canyon. Some days, you might notice you can’t see the other side. This is due to pollution obscuring the view.

Another surprising fact is that over 200,000 deaths are caused in the US by air pollution each year. This alone is cause for concern.

#3. Inside Isn’t Always Better

If the air outdoors is polluted, it makes sense to just hang out inside and escape the issue, right?

Wrong.

While this seems like a good temporary solution for escaping the problem, the air inside your home isn’t necessarily cleaner than the outdoor air. Radon, volatile organic compounds (VOCs), mold, and combustion pollutants are just some of the nasty things that can fill the air in your home. Unfortunately, these can cause such issues as asthma, headaches, nausea, and even cancer.

You can reduce these pollutants by taking the following steps:

  • Replace Filters — Air filters should be replaced regularly and your HVAC system should be well maintained in order to avoid spreading pollutants.
  • Reconsider Fuel-Burning Appliances — Skip the wood burning stove and fireplace and use a ducted furnace instead. Additionally, make sure dryers and gas stoves are well ventilated.
  • Avoid Scents — Scented products, such as air fresheners and some cleaning supplies, contain VOCs. These, along with pest repellents, should be avoided in order to prevent the spread of these harmful pollutants.
  • Keep Things Dry — Very humid or damp environments are ideal for mold. Keep things dry in your home to avoid becoming home to a fungus friend.

#4. You Can Help

Many people feel that air pollution is such a big problem that they can’t possibly help. Luckily, they’re wrong. You can help reduce the amount of air pollution by changing a few things about the way you live.

  • Drive Less — Automobiles are one of the main sources of air pollution. Reduce the amount of driving you do by biking to work or carpooling and combine errands whenever possible.
  • Shop Less — Factories also produce high amounts of pollution. By purchasing fewer things, you are assuring fewer things are produced in those factories.
  • Cut Out Beef — Believe it or not, cows might just produce more in the way of air pollution than cars. Therefore, eating less beef could have a huge impact on the environment.

Now that you know the facts, it’s time to make the appropriate changes. Get started today by scheduling a maintenance appointment for your HVAC system. With fewer pollutants in your home, you can rest a bit easier and start making plans for cleaning the air elsewhere.

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