Air pollution and car exhaust are two of the biggest health risks in today’s society, but they can also be two of the easiest to prevent if you’re aware of how to safeguard your health in times of pollution and COVID.
Here are five ways you can make sure you’re protected from pollution and COVID so that you can breathe easily and stay healthy no matter where you go or what you do.
Wear Face Masks
Air pollution and poor air quality can trigger allergies, asthma, and other respiratory issues. Don’t forget to wear a quality face mask whenever you step outside to protect yourself from these conditions.
Consider it an essential accessory that protects your lungs while allowing you to look stylish on your morning commute.
When shopping for a face mask, be sure to pick one that blocks both particulate matter and gases like smog. If possible, go for something with N95 or better filters, so you’re protected against all harmful pollutants.
Wash Your Hands Frequently
For most people, washing your hands frequently—after using a public restroom or before you eat or prepare food—is a matter of common courtesy. For those living in urban areas with high pollution levels, it’s essential to wash your hands regularly.
The microscopic organisms that cause respiratory infections such as colds and flu live on surfaces like door handles and cell phones, which is why washing your hands regularly is crucial to maintaining good health. Soap and warm water will reduce your risk of infection from these germs by about 80 percent.
Take Regular Showers
During pollution spikes, it’s easy to become overly worried and anxious. That, of course, can take a toll on your health and happiness. One way to avoid letting pollution get you down is to remember that most of what we call pollution isn’t toxins in need of immediate medical attention.
Most air quality advisories are based on concentration levels of particles in a given area. It’s unnecessary to breathe any particular particle—the body naturally expels them through frequent baths or showers.
If you shower every morning during pollution spikes (at least once daily), you will remove roughly 90 percent of potential pollutants from your skin before they can be absorbed into your bloodstream.
If you can, go inside during periods of high pollution. Even if you live in a region where outdoor air pollution is common, there are ways to mitigate its effects. First, avoid going outside if at all possible when air quality is poor—it’s just not worth it.
If you do have to go outside for some reason, always wear a mask and never leave it behind. Second, your home should be as clean as possible; install an indoor air purifier if you don’t already have one. Your body is vulnerable to indoor pollutants, so protect yourself by ensuring your living space is as healthy as possible.
Use Air Purifiers
Air purifiers are a quick and effective way to ensure you breathe clean air, no matter where you are. Not only do they efficiently and easily filter out pollutants like pollen, dust, pet dander, smog, odors, and more, they also work at night while you sleep. There is no substitute for an efficient air purifier when it comes to keeping your home’s air clean.
While it might seem that professional filtration would be necessary (as with hospitals or restaurants), portable options are more than capable of filtering harmful particles in smaller spaces like private homes.