People are exposed to a myriad of invisible environmental pollutants every day that are contributing to lung and cardiac disease and accelerating the aging process. Air pollution is one of the most pressing health related risks that people face and made more dangerous since many of the elements in air pollution can’t be seen.
Most people think of air pollution in terms of particles from manmade sources but there’s a variety of naturally occurring pollutants that include soot from forest fires, ash from volcanoes, and wind-blown sand in arid regions. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPS) lists radon, a naturally occurring pollutant that’s an invisible and radioactive gas, as the second leading cause of lung cancer.
No one can escape the effects of air pollution and even areas considered pristine are experiencing increasing levels of air pollution through sources that include demolition and construction projects, along with the elimination and trees that help filter the air. Invisible pollutants are breathed in and absorbed through the skin, creating free radicals within the body that results in damage at the cellular level through the process of oxidative stress.
The invisible particulates and gases in air pollution can kill. It’s estimated that 7 million deaths each year can be linked to air pollution. Particulates from polluted air have been found in the brain and research has shown that air pollution contributes to brain damage and disease such as dementia.
The body manufactures a natural antioxidant, glutathione, that works to neutralize free radicals. In sufficient amounts, free radicals overwhelm the body’s natural antioxidant production that results in impaired immune response, slowing of the body’s ability to eliminate toxins, and the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles associated with aging.*
Signs of aging are being seen in younger populations and those in large cities are at greater risk for premature aging, along with elevated incidences of inflammatory skin conditions, acne and skin cancer. Air pollution may be even more detrimental to the skin than the sun’s rays.*
In the U.S., it’s not just pollution generated within the nation that poses a risk. Naturally prevailing wind and weather patterns are shifting air pollution from Asian countries across the Pacific Ocean and into the Western U.S.
Until a permanent solution can be developed to eliminate the majority of invisible air pollutants, there are measures that individuals can take to help mitigate the effects, improve air quality, and decrease oxidative stress in their personal space that includes:
The invisible particles in air pollution can’t be completely avoided, even at the planet’s poles. It’s a serious problem that continues to worsen, causing disease, premature aging and death in populations worldwide. The good news is that with appropriate precautions, the effects can be mitigated to reduce the risks.*
*Disclaimer: The statements and information contained on this website have not been evaluated by the United States Food and Drug Administration. The products featured on this site are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.