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Air pollution and health

Hi everyone,

I attended a lecture about air pollution and its health effects at work today. Shortly after, I came across this new post around the site:

And you know what- it is alarming! Researches link air pollution to so many diseases (respiratory, which are obvious, but also many others. Did you know that in days with higher particle concentrations, more people suffer heart attacks? Such an immediate effect!)

t about a year ago thanks to my asthma, and since then I'm trying to recycle and reduce waste of resources in general. Understanding that a healthy environment means a healthier life for whoever lives in it, makes so much sense.

What do you think?

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  • K8sMom2002

    That's awesome that you are learning more about the way air pollution impacts health for everyone!

    Air pollution can be especially hard on people with asthma … but it's bad for everyone.

    Has learning more about air quality inspired you to change anything that you do?

  • Wheezy Me

    Yes. I reuse whatever I can, bring my own bags to the grocery store, use my cup for hot beverages at work instead of paper cups. I switched several products to biodegradable versions (if they are not too costy). I recycle what is possible in my area. Try to save on water and electricity (did it in the past as well because of their cost, but now I have two good reasons)

  • Deborah Bartlett

    Because I live in a highly polluted area, I have to wear my RZ mask quite often. Even in the house!! Pollution affects my asthma and COPD in a negative way. 😪

  • Wheezy Me

    I'm sorry, Deborah… I hope the mask helps. What else do you use against it?

    People with asthma (and I assume COPD doesn't help either) are more sensitive to anything in the air.

    That's why I believe that pollution that can be avoided, should be.

  • Deborah Bartlett

    We have an air purifier in the bedroom, and one downstairs in the family room. We have to leave our windows closed most of the time they would be open because there is no fresh air here. I have alot of green houseplants. Hopefully, they help to keep the air clean. I have read that it could be possible. Luckily, I have no problems with houseplants. My vacuum has a HEPA filter. I stopped hanging my laundry outside to dry. Highway dirt on clean clothes is not a good thing. I grow alot of nice plants outside. Unfortunately, that doesn't help. I make sure to cover my face at all times when I am outside. 

  • K8sMom2002

    Deborah, I hear you on not hanging your laundry outside! We can't do that due to pollen. Have you thought about using an indoor folding rack? It sounds like you're taking a lot of positive steps!

    Wheezy Me, sounds like YOU are taking a lot of positive steps as well! One thing that I have tried to do is break my habit of paper towels. I do better sometimes than others (right now is not one of them, I'm afraid.)

    I recycled the core out of a parchment paper roll and wrap regular cheap washcloths from Walmart (the packet of a dozen or so) in a staggered way … I overlap a bit of each end, and then I use another paper towel dispenser to hold them by the kitchen sink. They're nubby enough that I don't have to worry about them falling off. 

    That way, I have a fresh clean cloth that I can use to wipe things down. And now you're inspiring me to hide that spare roll of paper towels and bring out my un-paper towels again!

    Another thing that saves money and air quality … reducing the amount of meat we eat. Melanie Carver quoted an article on her "where the UN says livestock production causes a big impact on climate change. I'm never going to be a vegetarian … but over the years, my family has really cut back on the amount of meat that we eat. 

  • Deborah Bartlett

    We have cut back on meat consumption as well. 

    Yes, I have 3 one for clothes drying racks, plus circular dryers you hang on the shower rod for small items. They have clips on them. 

  • Wheezy Me

    Cynthia, your washclothes tool idea is very nice I cut back on the use of paper towels too, though I use a LOT of paper napkins for my nose… Which I don't recycle of course.😉

    I've been a lifelong vegetarian, but never knew meat had a bad impact on the invironment… why is that?

    Deborah- you remind me to get a new plant for my home! Sadly, the pretty one with the dark red leaves (do you remember? I posted here after buying it) withered after a week of problematic weather. I think I'll buy a green one this time.

  • Breatheeasy

    I tend to go without meat for eons before I pig out again. Well I need the meat once in a while but this is the longest I’ve gone without meat, diary and animal products. Last had them 8 months ago. With the deep freeze coming I think I’ll need it again.

    I can’t not use the dryer as I like that the dryer kills all the bacteria but I only let the clothes dry in the dryer for 20 mins and then if there’s something heavy I’ll let that stay a bit longer or have that dry on the rack. 

    I am allergic to all spring pollen. Spring is bad for me to be be out. So I’m usually at home with my purifier. Summer is a good seadon for me and hopefully will continue to be. Don’t want to jinx it by saying that. 

  • Breatheeasy

    Researching allergy friendly plants. I am highly allergic to plants. But well I can’t help it as most people in the community have plants and I live in the woods and also there’s a highway behind us in the woods. We have all sorts of animals in the woods – coyote, bobcats, mountain lions and so on so I have all that animal fur to deal with along with other pollutants. 

  • Breatheeasy

    I’m pretty sure they are deep in the woods since we have deep woods for miles behind us. People say they keep seeing them off of the exit to the highway. I should probably set up a camera behind our home to see what kinds of animals come out in the night. I see coyote all the time and deer. I’m pretty scared of deer ticks.

  • Deborah Bartlett

    Mountain lions = horror for me!!! I have seen packs of coyote here for almost 20 years. Foxes. Deer. Groundhogs. Flying squirrels. Snapping turtles. There was a darn bear last year. And…a bobcat living in our backyard in the woods for 2 weeks last year. Was not an easy thing to go through. 

  • Shea

    Nice topic! One thing I did to be green was learn about bamboo. I do so looove bamboo now– I might start turning into a panda bear! You can plant clumping types for controlled growth and it grows straight up into the air very fast and produces a LOT of oxygen and cleans the air. I live in Florida, so it does well here. And, no matter where you live, You can buy paper or wood products made of bamboo because it grows so quickly, and you can harvest poles without killing the plant, so it is a GREAT renewable green product. I had planted plants at my old house in the yard, very easy to care for here. My parents planted a lot by their house and my plan is to dig out a small section of each type they have snd replant at my new hoyse. It is nice because the poles are very resilient to wind– they bend but are so strong they seldom break– so not scary to have near your hone during a hurricane or bad storm— plus they are easy to harvest the pole with a japanese hand pull saw with fine teeth and craft with too. I make picture frames with small thin poles, and have made trellises, and hiking sticks, and poles dug into ground to hang solar lights on out in my parents' backyard. 

  • K8sMom2002
    Wheezy Me posted:

    I've been a lifelong vegetarian, but never knew meat had a bad impact on the invironment… why is that?.

    It has to do with a couple of things:

    1. The resources needed to raise livestock
    2. The actual emissions from livestock

    The says this:

    To produce just a single pound of meat, those animals may each eat upwards of  of feed—meaning mass meat production funnels far more resources through animals than it gets out of them.  from the World Resources Institute found that even the most efficient sources of meat convert only around 11% of feed energy into human food.

    Also, … and methane is a greenhouse gas.

    In 2011, methane from livestock accounted for 39 percent of all the greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture, according to a  that United Nation's Food and Agriculture Organization released Friday. That's more than synthetic fertilizer or deforestation. Methane from livestock rose 11 percent between 2001 and 2011.

  • Breatheeasy
    Deborah Bartlett posted:

    Mountain lions = horror for me!!! I have seen packs of coyote here for almost 20 years. Foxes. Deer. Groundhogs. Flying squirrels. Snapping turtles. There was a darn bear last year. And…a bobcat living in our backyard in the woods for 2 weeks last year. Was not an easy thing to go through. 

    Well Milford has the highest number of mountain lions someone told me. I guess it was my coworker who lives in Milford that spotted one behind his home. And of course there’s bears that come by every so often we actually see them walking past crowded areas like it’s no big deal. Hartford seems to have a big problem with them. 

    Anyhow I need to move out. When I do I will have a few plants. It should be fun to take care of them as I am allergic to pets.  

  • Wheezy Me

    Shea- that bamboo thing sounds so cool! And I don't believe you're going to turn into a panda soon. We need you here

    Why not share your bamboo crafts in the "show and tell" thread? If you feel like it of course…

    Cynthia- thanks for explaining that. I wonder if rising livestock in its original conditions (or as close to it as possible) will solve the problem, as all living creature are somehow part of this world's natural balance. It will make meat industry more expensive and less efficient, though…

  • Shea

    Breatheasy, I have some houseplants (yay they are still alive!) … That reminds me O need to buy more plant food… Before I had houseplants I didnt know anything about any plant, or that you have to give them liquid fertilizer like every 2 weeks and make sure you follow each ones watering and lighting requirements (which I mess up on sometimes) but I have some hardy, low light air cleaning plants: 2 small spider plants on the bar near the kitchen, a peace lily plant in my room, a snake plant in the office and Tommy's room, a yucca, devil's ivy, and red aglaonema in the living room. 

    And WheezyMe, thank you, I ill post some pics of my bamboo crafts soon– they arent anything too awesome but I do have an amazing crafting book that has projects I want to work up to. 

    (Here is my little Tommy panda bear– there is some bamboo at one of our favorite parks that he loves to play in.)

  • Shea

    *correction, the plant I said was devils ivy is actually golden pathos– or thise might be different names for tge same plant.. Im not sure…

  • Breatheeasy

    I am looking for a new place and am wondering if I should go for a newer home/apartment which might be less moldy. Any suggestions on how new the place should be? Our current home is 15 years old and the gutters are full of mold. We had that cleaned out. 

  • Deborah Bartlett

    There are alot of newly built homes…condos houses apartments townhouses. But, could you end up with problems with new building materials, flooring, carpeting and dust particles from the construction? If you have an immunologist/allergist maybe you could ask their advice. They know what affects you. Just a thought. 

  • Breatheeasy

    That’s okay. Thanks! I just started tracking the pollutants in the air and noticed that when o3 is a bit higher than normal my asthma gets triggered. I’m wondering if a mask could help with that when I’m outdoors.

    I am getting the air purifier now. I think I’m not going to wait longer. It’s not that heavy anyway. 

  • Breatheeasy
    Shea posted:

    Breatheasy, I have some houseplants (yay they are still alive!) … That reminds me O need to buy more plant food… Before I had houseplants I didnt know anything about any plant, or that you have to give them liquid fertilizer like every 2 weeks and make sure you follow each ones watering and lighting requirements (which I mess up on sometimes) but I have some hardy, low light air cleaning plants: 2 small spider plants on the bar near the kitchen, a peace lily plant in my room, a snake plant in the office and Tommy's room, a yucca, devil's ivy, and red aglaonema in the living room. 

    And WheezyMe, thank you, I ill post some pics of my bamboo crafts soon– they arent anything too awesome but I do have an amazing crafting book that has projects I want to work up to. 

    (Here is my little Tommy panda bear– there is some bamboo at one of our favorite parks that he loves to play in.)

    I just re-read this post. Some of the plants mentioned here I missed them. Thanks! I’ll google these plants. And see what I can get for the new place.

    I am sorry I am totally new to this thing Shea. I am wondering if I can find atleast some of these plants. I’m going to Lowe’s and Home Depot to see if they have something as soon as the weather gets better. I’ll start with one plant and then take it from there.

     

    how old is Tommy?

  • Shea

    He is 7 now. 

    Starting with one or two plants is a good idea. I hope it warms up there too (I feel a little guilty living in Florida with such nice weather when it is so cold everywhere else!– but come summertime itll be reversed, and will be unbearably hot and humid here when everyone else is having nice weather!)

  • Breatheeasy

    We usually fly down to FL for a weeks during winter but this time round there’s so many things going on . I decided to stay put.

    I would fly to FL a few times an year if it were upto me lol cause I and my DD love visiting Universal and Disney. I am wondering though if I have the energy for it now with my exacerbation. I am also considering relocating there but I have not made any solid plans as of yet. Looking for work there😁

    I lived in the south in SA, TX for a while. I enjoyed the summers despite the heat! 

  • Melissa G

    My parents are currently in Florida camping, even though I like the snow, I have to admit I am jealous! Oh to be able to sit outside and soak up the sunshine right about now. 

  • Breatheeasy

    After my research I am seeing these plants everywhere now haha. My neighbor has all of these air purifying plants. I have decided to bring in Areca palm first. 

  • Wheezy Me

    Thank you, Deborah and Melissa!😊😊

    Deborah, I'm glad you're enjoying them too! How often do you water them?

  • Deborah Bartlett
    Wheezy Me posted:

    Thank you, Deborah and Melissa!😊😊

    Deborah, I'm glad you're enjoying them too! How often do you water them?

    You're welcome! 🌞

    I water mine once per week. Just a small drink. You can stick your finger into the soil about an inch. If it feels dry, it's time for a drink. 

  • K8sMom2002

    Good luck with the house plants! Deborah's watering instructions are a good reminder about another issue with plants … mold.

    suggests lots of good tips, including this one:

    Wear a dust mask when cutting grass, digging around plants, picking up leaves and disturbing other plant materials.

    Here are more tips from AAFA on  – which specifically talks about mold and house plants and watering.

  • Shea

    Thanks Cynthia for that link! I check my plants weekly, and also am learning to tell by looking at them and how they are holding themselves and their leaves what they need– it is tough sometimes, but I am learning. Sometimes I take them outside to give them extra sunlight because I am not sure if they get enough inside– especially my peace lilly in my room– peace lillies dont need a lot of light but I noticed the higher and closer to my window the better. When I moved it off this table I had it on by the window it started to do worse. AND– I am thinking of not using tap water anymore and switching to filtered water because of what I read here (lots of good info on peace lillies):

  • Breatheeasy

    so I’ve been reading that they can be poisonous if ingested. I guess I have to hold off on bringing plants home for now. My DD does not understand that she should not eat the plants.