Air pollution is an “invisible threat” that most people don’t consider in their day-to-day lives, yet it is an issue that affects people around the world in substantial ways. Air pollution can greatly impact the human respiratory system as well as the nervous system, brain, kidneys, liver, and other organs, and it accounts for an estimated 7 million deaths per year. Environmental effects of poor air quality may manifest in ecosystem damage, reduction of crop yield, acid rain, and exacerbation of climate change through the release of pollutants like carbon dioxide.
Many individuals and the media tend to focus on air quality only when it becomes exceptionally poor, such as during wildfires, but the benefits of improved air quality can be reaped year-round. To further explore the vast impact that air quality has on human and environmental health, particularly coupled with the impacts of a changing climate, check out our blog on the relationship between air pollution and climate change.
Here’s a riddle for you: What is so small that you can only see it from far away?
The answer, of course, is the particulate matter that makes up Beijing smog (or any city’s smog…it’s all pretty small). From a distance, the haze may look dense and thick, but when you’re actually close enough to breathe it, suddenly it’s gone. You can’t make any fine measurements just by looking. It’s not like counting apples in a basket.
We’re forced to make assumptions about the air we’re breathing based on how hazy and grey it looks outdoors, how scratchy our throat feels, or what our phone app says, but we can’t observe particulate matter directly—It’s too small!
The World Health Organization says asthma is the most chronic disease among children. When your child struggles to take a breath, we know you would do anything to take away their discomfort. Helping your asthmatic child live a normal life starts with managing their symptoms and proactively preventing them.
There are several asthma triggers that you can help minimize. It starts where your child likely spends the most time: in your home. Houses are full of allergens like dust mites, pet dander, and other pollutants. The Environmental Protection Agency says the air in our homes and workplaces can be worse than the air in large industrialized cities. Investing in a home air quality monitor will help you understand, track, and improve the air. With the Laser Egg, you can create the cleanest air possible in your house.
We’ve all seen mold (even if it’s only on the blue cheese we had with lunch), but did you know that you may also be inhaling these tiny organisms?
Molds are a group of fungi often tucked away in warm, humid corners of your home. Despite their stationary appearance, molds have ways of getting airborne and into your lungs. To reproduce, these microscopic fungi release spores into the air. And if the mold dries out, fragments can break off and piggyback on existing dust in your air.
Once these molds enter the air, they can harm both your air quality and your health. Molds can prompt allergic reactions, and some toxic molds can even damage your immune system.
The air we breathe is a delicate balance of a few key ingredients, and many of us don’t realize that even small changes–such as keeping a door closed or using a new type of cleaning product–can completely disrupt this balance. This can lead to headaches, drowsiness, sneezing, and worse.
Your home's air quality may be an issue you are just beginning to recognize. Or, it could be something your family has been struggling with for a long time. Either way, the first step of fixing the problem is tracing the source. Below are some tips for how you can figure out where the pollution in your home might be coming from and what you can do about it.