- Check your local forecasts for daily air pollution levels. This data will tell you if it’s unsafe to go outside or limit your exposure.
- Clean your home regularly to reduce indoor air pollution. Avoid wearing shoes inside, as they can track in contaminants from outdoors. Also, don’t allow smoking indoors, and light candles sparingly.
- Reduce energy usage in your home. All our appliances and modern conveniences run on electricity, creating air pollution. Consider green energy sources like solar to power your home.
- Don’t exercise outdoors when high air pollution is present. Also, if you exercise outside, make sure to avoid high traffic areas. Being around tons of cars will increase your exposure to pollutants.
- Consider wearing a mask while outdoors if you live in a megacity or urban area. It may be uncomfortable, but it will protect you somewhat from heavy pollution and smog.
- Walk or bike instead of taking a car. Globally, transportation accounts for about 15-20% of greenhouse gas emissions each year. If you have to use a vehicle, opt for a bus or carpool with friends. Reducing the number of cars on the road would make a considerable dent in urban air pollution.
Final Thoughts on Study Linking Air Pollution to Pediatric Asthma
A recent study by George Washington University discovered that air pollution contributes to nearly two million pediatric asthma cases per year. About 50% of cases occur in large urban areas. However, in Europe, the US, and parts of Asia, pediatric asthma is on the decline. Researchers believe that tighter air pollution laws have reduced nitrogen oxide levels in the atmosphere.
While this is undoubtedly good news, we still have a mountain to climb to reduce emissions. Another study found that urban air pollution caused nearly two million deaths globally in 2019.
Researchers say that we need to provide a healthy climate if we want healthy populations. Getting fossil fuel-powered cars off the roads would make a huge difference in lowering air pollution.