Fight Obesity with Cleaner Air

Air Pollution Linked to ObesityA recent study by Ohio State researchers has concluded that air pollution may be one of the causes of obesity. A few months ago, we wrote about the link between soot and diabetes; Since obesity often leads to diabetes, this finding comes as no surprise.

The study found that young mice exposed to air pollution had higher blood sugar levels, larger fat cells, and more fat cells in their abdominal area than a control group of young mice on the same diet, who were not exposed to air pollution. Inflammation and changes in fat cells both increase the risk for Type 2 diabetes.

Even more frightening is the finding that air pollution may also increase the risk of autism…

At first glance, the results of this study seem to discount personal responsibility as a factor. After all, we can try to eat healthy and exercise, but if air pollution turns out to be the main culprit, then in the end, there’s not much we can do, right?

Wrong.

The majority of Americans spend most of their time indoors. Protecting the air you breathe starts in the home and office environments. You can help fight obesity by eating healthy, exercising, and changing your AC filters regularly. Make sure you use high-efficiency furnace filters to capture those really small particles circulating through your HVAC system. The best place to buy air filters? Why, Filters Fast, of course. ;)

Celebrate Indoor Air Quality Month with Filters Fast

Halloween isn’t the only thing to celebrate this month. October is National Indoor Air Quality Month, and several states, including North Dakota, Michigan and Montana are celebrating by spreading the word about the dangers of harmful indoor (and outdoor) air contaminants.

Seasonal changes often result in higher incidences of allergy problems and illnesses. Pollen is prevalent in the spring and fall opens the door to ragweed. Asthma, often caused by air pollution, is a growing epidemic among children and adults, resulting in missed school and work days, along with emergency room visits, and in extreme cases, even death. Indoor air pollution deserves way more attention than it currently receives. Though many people are aware of air contaminants such as mold, tobacco smoke and carbon monoxide, they may not be fully aware of just how dangerous these allergens can be. It is important to raise awareness and educate others on how they can avoid the problems caused by air pollution.

Here are some tips to help you improve the indoor air quality in your home:

1. Take our Indoor Air Quality Quiz to find out how dangerous your home environment is.

2. Quit smoking and avoid secondhand tobacco smoke.

3. Regularly change the A/C filters and microwave and hood range filters in your home.  Air filters with a higher MERV rating are more efficient at removing microscopic particles. You may also want to purchase an air purifier.

4. Use a HEPA vacuum cleaner and change the HEPA filter regularly.

5. Clean furniture regularly (more if you have pets in your home). Use non-toxic household cleaning products. Use hypoallergenic bedding.

Like any other national holiday, the  month of October is a time for recognition and remembrance – specifically the recognition of the importance of clean air. Join the observance and celebrate by spreading the word and sharing this post.

Go Green for Independence Day

This Fourth of July, some environmentalists are ditching the traditional red, white and blue patriotic fireworks display in favor of a greener option. The environmental pollution caused by fireworks has been a concern for several years, but the smoke in the air is even more potent this year in La Jolla, CA. An environmentalist group is suing the city in an effort to stop the fireworks display, which is of particular concern because it takes place near one of the most biologically important marine areas in California.  The court hearing was set to take place today.

Fireworks contain toxic heavy metals that are linked, not only to air and water pollution, but also to cancer and respiratory problems. And this does not just affect the La Jolla community. Many people around the country will celebrate with fireworks this Independence Day, despite the potential harm to personal and environmental health.

If reading this doesn’t make you want to do away with the fireworks altogether, perhaps you should look into other, more eco-friendly options.  This list of creative ways to celebrate the Fourth of July bypasses the typical fireworks display in favor of more educational ways to mark the day’s importance, like visiting a local cemetery in honor of war veterans or throwing a patriotic-themed potluck party. If you must insist on lighting some fireworks, consider the nitrogen-rich variety, which produce less toxic fumes and smoke.