Although you can not see the bad weather in most situations, the air you breathe can affect your health. Infected air can cause difficulty breathing, allergies or asthma, and other lung problems. Exposure to long-term air pollution can increase the risk of other illnesses, including heart disease and cancer.
Some people think air pollution is something that is found mostly outside the home. They may think that only single-seat vehicles or power plants or even smoke can cause air pollution. But air pollution can occur inside homes, offices or even schools.
Whether outdoors or indoors, the effects of air pollution are harder for those who have difficulty breathing. Dr Nadia Hansel, who has read lung problems at Hopkins University, explains, "Everyone is likely to be susceptible to adverse effects of air pollution, but those who have chronic lung diseases like asthma are more sensitive"
Researchers at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) are trying to understand and mitigate the effects of air pollution that affects both inside and outside the health of the individual.
What are the contaminations in the air outside of the house?
Different types of pollutants can affect your health. When the weather is warm, an invisible gas called ozone can make breathing difficult for some people. This gas is created when sunlight creates a chemical reaction between oxygen and certain pollutants from cars, factories and other sources.
Ozone can irritate airways and lungs. People with asthma and other lung diseases are more likely to feel the effects. Dr. Daryl Zeldin, a specialist in pulmonary and environmental sciences at NIH, explains: "When people with asthma under the control of low ozone levels, inflammation increases in the lungs, as a result, the passage of air from the tight ducts , Which makes breathing difficult. "
Another type of outdoor pollutant that affects health is particles. These are fine particles that are released when the fuel is burned. They can be created from things like cars, power plants, and fires. Particle research has been linked to short-term and long-term lung problems.
To track this and other harmful contaminations, air quality monitors are installed in over 1,000 locations across the United States. The US Environmental Protection Agency uses these monitors to produce an air quality index. This listing can be found online at airnow.gov.
Individuals susceptible to outdoor pollution may wish to use the Air Quality Index (AQI) to track high-level pollution. This information can help you decide when to do outdoor activities.
Improving indoor air
Air pollution inside the house can also be harmful. Secondary tobacco smoke contains small particles that can damage your lungs. Gas stoves and household appliances can create harmful gases. Pets and pests (like mice and beetles) can cause allergenic substances that cause allergies. Dust also produces allergens. Even furnishings and cleaning products can also carry harmful compounds into the air.
In recent years, many researchers have researched how domestic contaminants contribute to the disease. "Now, studies are asking: What about what we do and what can it help to reduce some of these confrontations?" Zeldin says.
Several NIH-sponsored researchers are exploring ways to reduce air pollution. Hansel uses air cleaners (also called air purifiers) to improve air quality for the elderly with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). This is a difficult situation to breathe, and it puts people at risk of developing dangerous lung infections such as pneumonia.
"Studies have shown that high levels of indoor infection can make breathing difficult for people with chronic pulmonary disease (COPD)," Hansel says.
Hansel's team is currently testing whether it can reduce the symptoms of COPD using home-made filters at home. The filters they test, both particles and nitrogen dioxide, eliminate the contaminants generated by cooking. Researchers will compare COPD symptoms with those who do not use filters. They hope that the use of filters will reduce the number of visits to the hospital.
Dr. Wanda Fiputankool, a child health specialist at the Boston Children's Hospital, explains: Research has shown that improving indoor air quality can improve the health of children with lung disease.
But while indoor air quality is important, children can spend more than eight hours a day at school. Improving the quality of air in potential schools is to improve the health of many children. "Home-based interventions are helping individual families," she says, "but targeting schools can help all children who are there and have more potential to influence them."
Fiputankool is conducting NIH-sponsored studies in about 40 schools. The intervention includes air purification in the classroom for particle removal and special pest control strategies to reduce allergens. Researchers of children exposed to acne