Fighting outdoor pollution

What is outdoor pollution?

When we speak of external pollution, we are referring mainly to carbon dioxide (CO2). It is a greenhouse gas that strongly degrades air quality and contributes to global warming. It comes from our human activities on a large and small scale: exhaust pipes, factories, electricity or heat production… But the atmosphere contains other chemical and biological pollutants, Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs), fine particles (plastic dust, agricultural pesticides, allergens…), some of which, in conjunction with other factors such as weather or winds, increase or decrease their concentration in the atmosphere. The understanding the synergies between these thousands of particles is a major challenge for the health of living beings and, in general, for the preservation of the environment.

 

Outdoor pollution and health

Concerning the effects on health, outdoor pollution has been classified as a “certain carcinogen” as of 2013 by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC). It is responsible for cancers, but also for reduced respiratory capacity, asthma, heart or circulatory diseases. At less severe levels, a high concentration of pollutants in the atmosphere causes fatigue, sore throat, cough and shortness of breath, hence the need for precautionary measures, especially on peak pollution days.

Outdoor pollution causes more than 500 000 deaths per year in Europe.

 

Good practices to fight external pollution

As you have understood, human activities pollute and you contribute to the emission of pollutants into the atmosphere too. In this context, the more you live in a dense environment, the more you live in a polluted environment and the more likely you are to feel the effects of poor air quality. So, to limit the damage from outside pollution while reducing your carbon footprint (i.e. CO2 emissions into the atmosphere), some good practices are needed!

How to reduce your carbon footprint in the atmosphere 

  • Electricity consumption pollutes. You should therefore turn off the lights when you leave a room, but also limit the use of air conditioning in your home and vehicle and, why not, turn down the heating by one or two degrees in winter, even if it means wearing warmer clothes.
  • Generally speaking, ensure that your home is well insulated to limit energy consumption.
  • When driving, drive slowly for the first few kilometres, as vehicle emission control systems are only operational when the engine is warm.
  • Feel free to consume local. Many people who are concerned about their carbon footprint actually prefer to buy products in short circuits to reduce the effects of freight transport, one of the most polluting sectors.

Other good practices to fight air pollution at home.

How to minimize the impact of outdoor pollution in your home

  • It is important to ventilate every room in your home to reduce indoor pollution, but to avoid replacing it with air pollutants, especially from exhaust pipes, make sure you renew the air when road traffic is less dense (even if you do not live right next to a road, because some pollutants are very volatile).
  • Leave your shoes at the entrance to your home as they contribute to the release of air pollutants into your indoor air.
  • Use our activated carbon air purifier to purify your home of most volatile organic compounds and formaldehyde. Without filter to change and without energy consumption, it does not create any harmful by-products.

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