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Air Pollution Affects More than Your Overall Health

According to a study conducted by the International Food Policy Research

Institute, breathing polluted air is attributed to “significantly reduced”

verbal and math scores, and cognitive impairment that can lead to an

increased risk of developing Alzheimer's disease or other forms of


What can you do?

Although the United States experiences lower air pollution than other major

countries, it’s important to be aware of how your daily activities can

contribute to air pollution. Here are some things to consider:

  • Research the household products that you use to determine if they’re harmful to the environment.

  • Monitor home and working environments to make sure that there are adequate airflow and proper exhaust systems installed.

  • Refrain from smoking, especially indoors, to make sure that this specific type of smoke doesn’t pollute the air you’re breathing.

Don't Forget About Indoor Air Pollution

Americans spend 90% of their lives indoors, where the air is 2-5x more polluted than outdoor air.

The most common pollutants are:

How to reduce or limit exposure to indoor air pollution

  • Don’t smoke indoors

  • Regularly ventilate your home to remove indoor pollutants and build up of moisture. Turn on exhaust fans, particularly when bathing, showering, cooking, doing laundry and drying clothes.

  • Don’t use wood-fired stoves and wood-burning heaters (fire places) in your home improperly. Smoke from wood-burning heaters is a complex mixture of particles and gases and contributes significantly to air pollution. The main air pollutants in wood smoke are particulate matter (PM), carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, nitrogen oxides and a range of other organic compounds like formaldehyde, benzene and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons. Burning inappropriate fuel such as painted or treated wood or domestic waste may produce other toxic chemicals.

  • Don’t use unflued gas heaters if possible. A flued gas heater vents these air pollutants and water vapour outside the home through a chimney or flue, while an unflued gas heater releases them directly into the home.This means that an unflued gas heater has the potential to cause indoor air pollution in your home that may affect your health.

  • Install a kitchen exhaust fan above your gas cook top if possible.

  • Consider limiting burning candles and incense

  • Don’t use ozone generators for managing indoor air pollution or odour problems.

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