Harmful Effects of Air Pollution – How Does Your Air-fare?

 air pollution - worst cities - solutions

Breathing clean air is no longer a guarantee in the United States.  Many of our most populated metropolitan areas, as well as some surprisingly less populated regions are considered to have unhealthy levels of ozone and particle pollution. According to the American Lung Association, 131.8 million people live in an area that gets an “F” rating on air quality.  Major health risks such as asthma, heart attack, lung cancer, overall cardiovascular health, low birth weight, infant mortality and even premature death have all been linked to breathing polluted air.

There are a variety of factors that contribute to air pollution. Combustion engine vehicles such as cars, trucks, buses and jet airplanes produce toxic exhaust which creates smog and holes in the ozone layer. Factories, power plants, office buildings and personal residences also contribute to smog by burning fossil fuels such as oil and coal.  Other contributing factors can include pesticides, insecticides, herbicides and dust from fertilizers.

So, how does your air fare?

Top 5 U.S. Cities* – Highest Levels of Air Pollution:

  1. Bakersfield, CA
  2. Hanford-Corcoran, CA
  3. Los Angeles, CA
  4. Visalia-Porterville, CA
  5. Fresno-Madera, CA

Cities in the Midwest such as Cincinnati, Pittsburgh and Louisville round out the top 10, so you can see that air pollution reaches from coast to coast in the United States.

Top 5 U.S. Cities* – Cleanest Air:

  1. Cheyenne, WY
  2. Santa Fe, NM
  3. Bismarck, ND
  4. Great Falls, MT
  5. Honolulu, HI

If you are not lucky enough to live in a region with the cleanest air quality, there are steps you can take to improve your own personal space.

  • Walk or bike when possible. If not, use public transportation or car pool.
  • Choose fuel efficient, low-polluting vehicles
  • Consider replacing old wood burning stoves with new energy saving EPA certified models. Buy Energy Star (environmentally friendly) products for lighting and appliances.
  • Invest in a quality furnace filter, to capture debris, dust, and more from your air and make sure to change your home’s air filters on a regular basis as recommended by the manufacturer.

 

To fill all of your air filtration needs, please visit http://www.filtersfast.com/

 * The American Lung Association State of the Air 2012 report

Dangerous Air Quality: Air Pollution Health Effects

air-pullution

Poor air quality is a concern. Did you know that, on average, we breathe in 3,000 gallons of air each day? Throughout the day, you are breathing in tiny particles (invisible to the naked eye), without being aware of it. Have you ever stopped to think what these tiny particles are that you’re breathing in? Unfortunately due to negative air pollution health effects, we are confronted with the probability that we are hurting our overall health just by doing a simple (yet vital) task.

Air pollution can damage plants, trees, crops and lakes. It can also damage your body. Below are just some of the effects of air pollution as related to our overall health.

  • Irritation of the throat
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Respiratory problems (especially for those with asthma)
  • Burning in the nose and eyes

 

Perhaps most frightening is that we are not just susceptible to the adverse effects of air pollution while we are outside, but also while we are in the comforts of our own homes. In fact, indoor air quality is one of the top five risks to public health according to the EPA. Perhaps even more alarming is that 87% of American homeowners are not aware that the pollution outside may not be as bad as the pollution inside (this according to dosomething.org).

The reasons for this can vary from a lack of filtration to inadequate ventilation. Being a company that specializes on filtration, we naturally tend to focus on this part of the issue. However, this can make a huge difference. While you may not be able to make an immediate impact on air pollution on a national or even global scale (due to various laws, regulations, etc.) you can make an immediate impact on the air quality in your own home. Furnace filters capture debris, dust, and more from your air which improves your overall air quality. Beyond that however, failure to regularly replace furnace filters is generally the number one cause of furnace repairs. In addition, since your motor and furnace fan will have to work harder to push air through a clogged filter, your system consumes more energy to compensate causing you to spend more on your next bill.

You don’t have to deal with poor air quality at home. A furnace filter, and remembering to regularly replace it, can leave you breathing in fresh air.