Summer Time and the Living’s Smoggy
July 30th, 2005
By Stal Herz
While the summer time may mean trips to the beach and long Sunday afternoons
on the grass with your toes feeling a breeze that’s been blowing for a
spell, Monday through Friday are usually spent in the city, and while inside
the concrete jungle there is a certain element that hangs around -
unrestricted to zoning laws.
More and more, the roads are getting congested and the emissions that enter
the atmosphere are doing such damage to the environment that future
generations might not have a legitimate chance of breathing correctly if
they live too close to the city
Conditions such as emphysema and cancer have been linked to smog in a recent
study by the Center of Disease Control. For office workers who work in
protected environments, you may be OK during the day, but what about your
kids who are outside playing or just walking from place to place. How safe
is it out there and what can you do to prevent smog from causing serious
risks to your health?
A recent report released by the American Lung Association stated that 55
percent of Americans live in counties that are polluted by smog and are said
to have hazardous consequences when inhaled. California, especially southern
California, holds most of the top ten spots.
You can check out this link to see where your state ranks in relation to the
highest levels of smog:
Smog is the result of pollutants emerging from cars, factories and any
devices that produce emissions. The chemical in this burning fuel combines
with air and sunlight, creating a tight vacuum where air stands still and
cannot move. The bacteria that mixes in the air is the smog that you see
covering so many cityscapes.
If you have respiratory problems or summer-time asthma attacks, it is
recommended that you limit your time outside during the key hours of smog
inhalation, which is from noon to 5 o’clock.
Adjusting your diet for these smoggy times can be a huge help to you.
Eating leafy green vegetables can increase your lungs ability to filter out
the infectious chemicals that have entered your body through your walk
through the city and will reduce the risk of lung cancer, which is a growing
concern amongst non smokers living in heavily polluted areas. Make sure
that you are not cooking your intake of vegetables, as this decreases the
amount of vitamins and anti-oxidants that they contain to help your immune
system battle the effects of smog.
If you’re not eating enough fruits and vegetables, make sure your
supplements contain large doses of vitamins A, C and E, the key components
in battling outside would be invaders from going into your body.
Orange slices are not just for your kids t-ball games anymore. Bring
them to your office with you and share for an afternoon snack. It will boost
energy and keep people from hacking when they go outside because they will
have the extra strength needed to breathe in the modern metropolis.
A study in the September 9th, 2004 New England Journal of Medicine found
that early exposure to smog at a young age leads to increased difficulty
in breathing later on in life. Because of this, part of your morning routine,
no matter what your age, should be to check the smog reports or the air
quality levels in your area and the areas you are traveling to in the daytime.
The weather section in your local paper will usually show you the air
quality for the day.
If you see a poor quality day, make sure you drink an extra-amount of
water and stay inside rooms with plenty of ventilation. If you or your
children are engaged in strenuous activities, make sure they take a break
every 20 minutes or so to re-hydrate with water. Sports drinks with sugar
often times only give you energy, so make sure water is your primary source
Aside from the physical and environmental changes that you can control, it
might be a good idea to start ride sharing and car pooling. Besides doing
something to better the environment, you’ll be increasing your social
skills and might even develop a healthier social life, which can only lead to
positive results both physically and mentally.
Smoking cigarettes also contributes to the problems, as you are creating
your own mini emissions factory that is coming from your cigarette as well
as your mouth. That’s two shots at lung cancer in one drag.
Awareness over all is the key, so be aware of each breath around you and
know that you have to fight it before you step out in it.
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