Air Pollution Comes Home: Why You Need HEPA Filters in Your House
7 minute read
Pollution is everywhere, including in your home. While you can’t control the pollution outside, you can do your part to reduce the pollution you are exposed to in your own home.
Air consists of fine particles that can move easily between materials, meaning the unhealthy air outside will find a way into your home. High-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters, thankfully, can reduce the chances of that air getting into your lungs.
How HEPA Can Help You
Most filters and fans simply move air around. Some filters may remove larger particles, but there are still many small pollutants that manage to get through the average filter.
HEPA filters are the best way to catch and remove these tiny particles from the indoor air you breathe. You can’t stop the outdoor pollution from getting inside, but you can minimize the amount of pollution in what you inhale.
More effective removal of these particles is especially beneficial for the young, the elderly, and anybody with respiratory conditions. Studies have found that the use of HEPA filters significantly reduces the presence of potentially harmful particles in the air within your home.
With so many of the most dangerous particles being microscopic, it has become important to cast a different net.
HEPA filters effectively remove particles from your home that have been found to worsen symptoms of common respiratory problems, such as asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. They continue to protect your lungs even during colder months when temperature inversions cause dirty air to get trapped indoors.
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The use of HEPA filters is a must for those with respiratory health issues, but it also improves air quality for the whole family.
Pollutants can trigger allergic reactions as well as cause infections when inhaled. The proven effectiveness of these filters shows us that we need to install more to improve air quality in homes and throughout the community while making efforts to cut down the amount of pollution in the air overall.
Why You Need HEPA in Your Life
With millions of deaths worldwide being attributed to air pollution, it is time for a change. HEPA filters cannot clean up all the air, but they can significantly minimize the pollutants you are directly exposed to.
If HEPA filters are used in every indoor place, the quality of air you breathe will be higher. Yes, you still have to go outside, but at least your lungs get a nice break in between.
Just as we filter water, we need to filter our air too. There are a number of health problems associated with air pollution. and you can avoid all of them by cleaning up the air you breathe.
Bone density loss: Osteoporosis already accounts for the majority of bone loss and breakage. Studies have now found a link between air pollution and bone density too.
For those already dealing with bone density issues, prolonged exposure to dense air pollution worsens the condition.
Strokes: Strokes are responsible for close to five million deaths each year. While cardiovascular health and diet plays a role in your risk of stroke, the environment has an impact too.
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Exposure to certain levels of air pollution has been linked to increased incidence of stroke, indicating that you need to clean your air as well as your diet.
Heart attack: It makes sense that if air pollution can cause strokes, it will also increase your risk for other cardiovascular problems. As toxins and pollutants are inhaled, they trigger an inflammatory response which damages heart tissue when left untreated and can lead to a heart attack.
Kidney disease: Because your kidneys act as a filtration system, it makes sense that they would have direct contact with any toxins your body wanted to filter out. As air pollution has worsened over the years, the incidence of kidney disease has increased.
Even small levels of pollution impact your kidney function, so minimizing pollutants is critical when it comes to kidney health.
Hypertension: High blood pressure contributes to heart disease, which is one of the leading causes of death worldwide. Studies have found that high blood pressure is higher among the inhabitants of the most densely polluted cities.
If your blood pressure medications don’t seem to be working, take a look outside to check the quality of air in your town.
Mental health: Air pollution can take a toll on you both physically and mentally. As air pollution increases, so does the number of reported cases of psychological distress. How the air quality impacts brain health is a new area of research, but studies are already finding strong correlations.
Birth defects: Pregnant women exposed to high levels of air pollution may be harming fetal development with the air they inhale. Certain birth defects have been found to be associated with over-exposure to air pollution including abdominal malformations.
Chronic Inflammation: The underlying factor to all these health problems is inflammation. Your body’s natural defense system releases an inflammatory response to target and eradicate foreign bodies like air pollutants.
As beneficial as this is at times, uncontrolled inflammation can be dangerous. Constant exposure to air pollution and toxins leaves your body in a continued state of defense, and inflammation runs rampant.
The result is damage to cells, tissues, and organs, and your risk for a host of serious diseases increases. By reducing the level of pollutants in the air around you with a HEPA filter, you can minimize the inflammatory response and protect your health.
The Bottom Line
Despite often half-hearted efforts to reduce it, pollution remains a real threat to our health. Recent days in numerous countries have begun and ended with a brown, murky haze instead of a blue sky.
While new laws and habits take shape, we can at least clean up the air we breathe indoors to minimize the potential threat to our health. Tackling the pollution problem may require us to start small, by cleaning up the air one HEPA filter at a time.