Breathing: Life-Sustaining or Life-Ending?

April 25, 2020

We all know that we can't live without breathing, but what we breathe really matters! This statement has never been more important as the world tries to combat the COVID-19 pandemic. Outside pollution or inside poor air quality still equals bad air and it's making us sick!  

 

When the pandemic started we heard that people with asthma and other compromised respiratory conditions were at higher risk of getting very ill from the virus, Now, some initial studies in the areas hardest hit by COVID-19 suggest that people who have experienced long-term exposure to pollution are at a greater risk of dying from Coronavirus. Places right here in the U.S, like New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, Detroit as well as other countries known for pollution like China and Europe, have been hit especially hard. These studies point to the fact that while this week commemorates the 50th anniversary of Earth Day, we as global citizens, need to keep fighting for and demanding that we have clean air to breathe. Yes, there have been some reports that during our social distancing some areas have actually seen their air quality improve. But what happens when the world starts gathering together again? When this pandemic is over, don't forget that our attention to environmental wellness could save more lives in the future.

 

But our indoor air quality is just as important to our overall health and well-being. Here is a look at some of our biggest contributors to bad air inside our homes and businesses:

  • Cigarette smoke.

  • Particulates from candles and incense.

  • Perfumes.

  • Harsh household cleaners and solvents.

  • Craft and office supplies, such as paints, glues and toner ink.

  • Allergens, such as mold, pollen, pet dander, and dust mites.

  • Wood-burning fireplaces or stoves.

  • Improper ventilation in homes, especially poorly vented gas stoves increase levels of radon, carbon monoxide gas and formaldehyde.

  • Building materials used in older homes like asbestos and lead.

Ways to stay healthy indoors:

  • Avoid smoking indoors (or quit all together!)

  • Use arts and crafts in well-ventilated areas.

  • Make sure gas stoves are vented properly.

  • Remove carpeting, if possible.

  • Use a dehumidifier and/or air conditioning to reduce moisture.

  • Keep trash covered to avoid pests.

  • Remove shoes at the door.

  • Minimize the use of air fresheners.

  • Use radon and carbon monoxide detectors.

  • Fix leaky faucets.

  • Dust surfaces and vacuum frequently.

  • Wash bedding weekly.

  • Make sure exhaust fans function properly.

  • Limit or avoid burning scented candles.

  • Exchange air inside with some fresh air from outside, if possible.

 

As always, continue to follow the BMI Wellness Concepts Blogging to Be Well posts so you can #GetWellBeWellStayWell

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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