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Many of us may not realize it, but the air is filled with pollutants and chemicals linked to cancer and asthma. In 2012, a World Health Organization study revealed that over 7 million people worldwide were prematurely killed as a result of air pollution. In this dangerous ecological environment, you do not have to smoke cigarettes to face the health risks associated with inhaling toxins. Air pollution will only worsen as the climate changes – days that were once temperate will become much hotter, producing thick, stagnant air that traps pollution. Unfortunately, completely avoiding it is almost impossible – even if you live in secluded towns miles away from the city, wind can still send the contaminants your way. So, what can you do to at least give your lungs a break from the unsafe particles that infiltrate every breath you take? Here are some ways you can reduce your exposure to air pollution:
1. Air Filtering Face Mask
A few start-ups, like Airinum,
have tasked themselves with updating the standard cotton face mask to be more effective at filtering out harmful air pollutants, while also making it a fashion accessory! Sounds dystopian, but they have multiple design options that let you coordinate the mask to your style. If the $79 price tag is too steep for you, check the low-tech options are still widely available.
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2. Plant a garden or have plants in your home
The more greenery we surround ourselves with, the higher the air quality becomes. Plants absorb airborne contaminants like formaldehyde, which is often used in treating linen, and pump out oxygen in return. Buying leafy plants
for your home such as Dragon Tree (Dracaena) or Mother-in-Law’s Tongue, to help add fresh oxygen to the atmosphere and add some life to your space.
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3. Air Purifier
The air inside our homes is not free of allergens or smog, and plants can only do so much to help. Your next line of defense may be an air purifier like the Rabbit Air
which filters bacteria, odors, pet allergens, and toxic compounds without making a sound.
Image via Luo Xiaoguang/ Corbi
4. Bottled premium, clean air
This may be a superfluous item, but if you live in an area where air quality is notoriously bad, you can splurge on clean bottled air from Canadian mountains
. Vitality Air captures pure mountain air that can give you relief from the daily smog and make you feel like you're skiing in Banff.
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5. Use public transportation or buy an energy efficient vehicle
Reduce your carbon footprint by taking the bus or metro to get around. If taking public transport is difficult where you live, think about investing in an electric or fuel-efficient
car like a Toyota Prius or a Honda Fit.
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