Most of us have some idea of the things we do that can kill us if we aren’t careful, but there are many things we don’t know about that are killing us every day. Air pollution is one of those things.
Sure we have all heard that smog and other pollutants are harmful to our lungs and respiratory system and can cause related diseases and problems like allergies, asthma and sinusitis, but few of us have known that pollution can cause heart problems, impair brain function as well as decreased lung function and the onset of COPD.
Think about how your lungs work and their function in keeping us alive. When you inhale, you take in oxygen rich air that gets absorbed by the blood vessels in your lungs, which in turn transport the oxygen to your cells allowing your body to function properly. Deprive the cells of oxygen and we die, it’s as simple as that. But, along with that oxygen-rich air comes all the pollutants that are in the atmosphere. Like the oxygen, this particulate matter gets absorbed into the bloodstream and there the problems begin.
Studies have shown that there is a direct association between particulate air pollution and heart attacks and deaths. These studies have spawned a new field of research, Environmental Cardiology that examines the relationship between heart disease and environmental air pollution. This scientific examination has also linked air pollution with the incidence of stroke.
It seems that the chemicals commonly found in smoke of any sort, including cigarette smoke and car exhaust, increase blood cholesterol and activate enzymes that can cause the plaque in blood streams to rupture. The resulting blood clots can block an artery, leading to a stroke or heart attack. Some of the specific findings in these studies:
- People who live in cities with higher pollution die more frequently from heart disease.
- A spike in air pollution is followed by a spike in heart attacks.
- In Salt Lake City, a steel mill shut down for months and there was a 4-6% drop in mortality. When the mill reopened the death rate returned to the previous levels.
The people who are the most susceptible are those who are already vulnerable, most notably the elderly and those with coronary artery disease. The studies also found evidence that diabetics, women and obese persons are also at greater risk. It is the microscopic particulate that is the problem.
Larger particles get filtered out by your upper respiratory system, but the small stuff gets through and gains entrance to the blood stream. One answer to the problem is to filter more of the air we breathe, as hardly any area of the country is free from air pollution.
High Efficiency Particulate Air filters (HEPA) are part of the solution. Developed in the mid-forties by the U.S. military establishment, a HEPA filter can remove particulates as small as 0.1 microns, but the focus is on 0.3 or higher. These HEPA air filters are made up of cross-layered materials of interlocking strands that capture 99.97% of all harmful airborne particulates.
Not only will these pure air filters help those suffering from asthma, sinusitis and allergies, but they will also remove the particulates that are suspected to initiate cardiac problems. Pure, clean, filtered air can be a major fix for many medical problems. Now you cannot say you don’t know . . . get a certified HEPA air purifier today and help prevent a lot of medical problems tomorrow.
Clean Air Plus is a veteran and family owned small business. We represent the leading manufacturers in HEPA filtration including Austin Air, IQAir, Amaircare, Oransi and Airpura. Shop online or call one of our friendly experts at 888.247.1147. We'll be happy to help.