Travel tips – all year round:
– leave your car at home – walk, cycle, carpool or take public transit
– tele-conference instead of driving to meetings
– limit car trips by doing all your errands at once, and do
not let your engine idle
– keep your car well tuned, check your tire pressure and
drive at moderate speeds
– avoid exposure to vehicle exhaust fumes
– consult your doctor for specific health advice
– wear light clothing at work while air conditioning is reduced
– avoid strenuous exercise in the heat of the day
Electricity saving tips:
– save electricity at home by setting your air conditioner
temperature a few degrees higher (health permitting) and turning
off lights you are not using
Other pollution reduction tips:
– leave lawn mowing for another day
– restrict the use of gasoline-powered equipment
– delay using oil-based paints, solvents and cleaners
While these are useful tips, they are only minimal steps, more need to be taken now.
I don’t know how many times I’ve seen workers out on the hottest, most polluted days, doing road work, mowing grass with gas powered mowers, etc. I think our governments could set better examples, as well as stop allowing industries free passes to pollute us… We should not have to sacrifice our health for the economy.
I have to hand it to them though, for sending out emails when the air quality gets really bad, if you sign up. We can also check online to see what it’s like, what the pollutant levels are (for what they measure)
I think that much more has to be done to look after our air, our brains, our bodies.
Next, from a Government of Canada website, a section that actually inspired the name of this blog when I first ran across it a few years ago:
How can you tell if you may be sensitive to air pollution?
Estimating Your Own Sensitivity
Note: You should always consult your doctor concerning medical issues. People who have existing respiratory or cardiovascular illness should follow their doctor’s usual advice on the management of their condition. Use of the following guide is an additional tool that can be used to protect your health.
Use your own experience and symptoms as a guide.
How do you usually feel when there is an increase in air pollution? If you cannot answer this question, visit this Web site regularly and take note of how you feel on days with different levels of air pollution.
Take into account your age, your health status, and your level of outdoor activity. If you are in the “At Risk” group, your sensitivity to air pollution is likely to be greater.
– Young, active children
– Elderly individuals
– People having existing respiratory or cardiovascular illnesses such as asthma,chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) which may includechronic bronchitis and emphysema, or people with certain heart arrhythmias (rhythm problems or irregular heartbeat), congestive heart failure, angina or previous heart attack
– People undertaking strenuous exertion outdoors, for example during sports or strenuous work.
By considering these factors you can assess whether you are:
Very sensitive: Severe and frequent symptoms, possibly even after low exposures to pollution
Moderately sensitive: Between very and mildly sensitive
Mildly sensitive: Mild and infrequent symptoms, only after high exposures to pollution.
Important! This is ONLY a guide. Be sure to consult your doctor if you are experiencing moderate to severe symptoms.
Adapted from the sensitivity guide developed by the New Brunswick Lung Association
Where does clean air come from? I need to find me some!
My brain and lungs are hurting.
Smog in our brains (2012)
“Researchers are identifying startling connections between air pollution and decreased cognition and well-being.”
“Researchers have known since the 1970s that high levels of air pollution can harm both cardiovascular and respiratory health, increasing the risk of early death from heart and lung diseases. The effect of air pollution on cognition and mental well-being, however, has been less well understood. Now, evidence is mounting that dirty air is bad for your brain as well.
In the meantime, says Weuve, there’s not much people can do to protect themselves, short of wearing special masks, installing special filtration systems in their homes and offices or moving to cities with less airborne pollution. “Ultimately, we’re at the mercy of policy,” she says.
The good news, Nelson says, is that the mental and cognitive effects of air pollution are finally beginning to receive attention from the mental health research community. “We sort of forget about these environmental insults,” says Nelson. “Maybe we shouldn’t.”