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How To Avoid Health Problems in Poor Air Quality

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Whether you live in a highly-polluted city or an area with fresh, clean air, you need to be aware of ways to protect yourself and your family from air pollution. Through knowledge, smart decisions, and appropriate actions, you can maintain the long-term health of both yourself and your family. The first step is knowledge. Check for daily forecasts on the quality of air and understand how clean or polluted the air will be on any given day. The American Lung Association offers a “State of the Air” app, which delivers information about the air in your area right to your phone or computer. This app, which is available through Google Play and iTunes, can help you stay informed no matter where you live or travel.

If the air is particularly bad, try keeping outdoor activities to a minimum or exercise in areas where air pollution is minimal. (Take a look at AQI numbers for nearby areas and you may be surprised by the differences of just a few dozen miles.) 

Air pollution can be significantly harmful on children, so if the air is bad, limit the amount of time a child can spend outdoors. No matter what the local AQI, it’s best to avoid exercising in areas with high amounts of vehicle traffic, such as sidewalks next to crowded roadways. Even when the air forecast is good, traffic can create concentrations of airborne toxins. 

If you live and work in an area with high amounts of air pollution on a regular basis, consider keeping a handkerchief that you can use to cover your mouth and nose. This will help filter harmful gases and particles and keep them from entering your body. 

It’s also believed that you can make changes to your diet to increase your body’s ability to fight toxins. Antioxidant-rich foods, especially fruits and vegetables, have the ability to protect your body from damage caused by “free radicals,” which are created by air pollution. A diet rich in healthy veggies and fruits can’t keep toxins out of your body, but it can make your body better equipped to handle the contaminants. 

Remember that indoor air pollution is an issue as well. While you may not be able to directly change the quality of the air outside, you can control, by a significant level, the quality of the air inside. Don’t smoke inside and avoid second-hand smoke. Keep chemical-filled candles and air fresheners to a minimum, and change the filters in your air conditioning system on a regular basis. With these three steps alone, you will significantly improve your indoor air quality. 

If you are traveling see our guide on air purifiers for hotels. Here you will learn practical steps to breathe clean, fresh air in your hotel room. 

You should also consider using air purifiers in your home. Agcen air filters can eliminate indoor pollution, helping to make your home a clean haven from outdoor air pollution. 

While none of these measures will guarantee that outdoor air pollution won’t affect you or a loved one, if you use them together you will likely feel better and have healthier bodies, hearts, and lungs for many years!