How to Protect Yourself Against Air Pollution


According to the World Health Organization, 1.7 million child deaths are due to pollution and environmental risks every year. Most people do not have to worry just yet, but those who live in environments that are susceptible for pollution have a strong reason to be a concerned. Residents of areas that are near major highways are at a much higher risk than those living in quiet, rural neighborhoods. Air pollution is known to cause negative consequences for pregnancy, cardiovascular health, childhood asthma, birth outcomes, and more. An environmental health sciences professor at the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health declared the three major steps people can take to protect themselves from the effects of pollution.

It is vital to understand wind patterns. While this may be overlooked, residents should be aware if pollutants are blowing toward or away from their homes. If the wind is blowing toward home from a major roadway, the windows should be shut. However if the wind is blowing away from home, it is safe to leave the windows open. Ozone pollution peaks in the afternoon, so UCLA researchers suggest avoiding rigorous exercise outside during the afternoon, and especially on summer days. It can be done another time, when pollutants are not able to react to sunlight as easily. Lastly, using a high efficiency air purifier at home can reduce particle levels, despite the heavily-polluted outside air.

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