Whether it is air pollution (smog), groundwater contamination, environmental spills, oil spills, or any of the other common pollutants, there is no denying that in 2018, daily pollutants are everywhere.
And, they are incredibly harmful to your health.
These daily pollutants can affect all parts of your body and can be devastating for your well-being in the long run.
To help you live longer, happier and healthier, here are five ways to protect yourself from daily pollutants.
1. Wear a mask
Incredibly popular in Asian countries, a high-quality mask can do wonders for those of you who spend a lot of time outside working out.
For the runners, cyclists and very fast walkers of countries with extreme pollution, these types of masks are a blessing and a necessary component of protecting oneself from daily pollutants.
Usually, these masks come in a stretchy fabric that sits carefully on the face while still enabling the wearer to breathe easily in humid conditions.
Now you may very well be asking, how exactly do these masks protect me from the daily pollutants I face?
Well, the mask has filters which are devised to catch any sub-micron particulates and other forms of pollution before they have the chance to enter your body.
2. Use an air purifier in your home
If you live in a particularly busy neighborhood or on a busy road, you are going to want to utilize smog-eating purifiers to protect your house from the many outdoor pollutants you are regularly exposed to.
Air purifiers work by employing a fan to pull in dirty air at one end, then discarding the pollutants and producing clean air at the other end.
Luckily, there are many air purifiers on the market so you are sure to find one that suits your needs and budget. Look for one that is practical, and that creates an impressive amount of air circulation without making too much noise.
3. Test the water in your house and then treat it
You obviously don’t want anyone in your household (including yourself) to get something like hepatitis A, Giardia intestinalis, norovirus, or Shigella because the water you are drinking in your home is unsanitary.
Therefore, it is crucial that you test the water in your house and then take any necessary steps in order to treat it.
When run under the water, the strips in a test kit will change color to demonstrate which (if any) contaminants are present in your water.
Armed with this knowledge, you will then be ready to investigate water treatment methods. Keep in mind that there are a vast array of potential water contaminants, which means there is also a wide range of water treatment methods that can be used to treat them.
To put it in perspective, hundreds of contaminants have been found in tap water.
However, some of the most common water treatment methods include:
- Water filtration — Traps contaminants in a filter, and absorbs or breaks down the pollutants after filtration.
- UV light treatment — The UV-C fatally kills bacteria, viruses and microbes’ DNA and is more powerful than chlorine.
- Reverse-osmosis systems — Utilizes water pressure to push the water supply through a semipermeable membrane so that inorganic solids such as salts can be removed from the water.
That being said, if the quality of your water concerns you, make sure to talk to a professional, as they will be able to provide you with more accurate results and can suggest other options for cleaning up any groundwater contaminants your home has.
However, your cities should often be remediating and testing for hazardous levels of water contaminants in your community.
4. Protect your skin
Too often overlooked, if you live in an area that is highly polluted, there is a good chance that it is having an adverse effect on your skin (even if you are unable to see it explicitly now).
For this reason, you want to be extra diligent when it comes to how you clean your skin. Make sure you are using a renowned, pollution-proof cleanser that is able to gently remove the daily buildup of dirt that is resting on the surface of your skin.
Additionally, opt for a daily moisturizer that is known to provide a barrier between the daily atmospheric pollutants and your skin. Twice a week (say, Monday and Thursday), use an exfoliating scrub and a deep-cleansing mask (say, Wednesday and Sunday) to ensure you are thoroughly removing all the yucky stuff.
If the daily pollutants are extreme where you reside, for the health of both your skin and the rest of your body, try to take steam with a few drops of eucalyptus oil every evening to decompress your air passages and assist your body in discarding the toxic substances.
5. Be careful with what you eat and drink.
Obviously, you are going to test your water and treat it for any groundwater contamination, as you want to ensure you are solely drinking, bathing, and cooking with filtered, chlorine-free water. If you choose to purchase water while outside your home, then only buy it when bottled in glass, and not in plastic.
When it comes to food, make sure your diet consists of plants that were grown organically, with natural fertilizers. The meat you eat should come from animals not fed with chemicals, hormones, antibiotics or pesticides.
Always avoid farm-raised fish and instead opt for wild-caught and smaller fish to minimize any potential mercury exposure. Cod, salmon and pollack are perpetually safer choices than tuna, sea bass and swordfish.
Cleaning up nicely
The number of daily pollutants we as humans are confronted with can leave you feeling overwhelmed, not to mention stressed out over the need to know how to solve the issues and protect ourselves and our loved ones.
However, it has to be done.
Over the next couple of weeks, make it a habit to incorporate these tips into your daily routine to start protecting yourself from daily pollutants immediately, and observe how these help make you happier and healthier.
Patrick Randall is the Vice President of National Sales at Hepure Technologies. He holds a BS in Mechanical and Chemical Engineering from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo and an M.S. in Civil Engineering from CSUS. He has been working in the environmental and bioremediation space since graduating in 1986.