Know the Risks of Poor Air Quality

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Summer of 2017-the Summer of intense smoke that wild fire season inflicted on the Vancouver area have surely made everyone conscious of air quality. The record-setting 19 days of dangerous air pollution designated by five air quality advisories made clear what you might have already been feeling in your nose or chest. Excessive amounts of ozone or fine particulate matter hit your respiratory system hard.

The World Health Organization has identified air pollutants like nitrous oxide and sulfur dioxide as capable of irritating and damaging your respiratory tissues. People with asthma or weak immune systems suffer even more when smog and smoke descend on a community. Long-term exposure to bad air pollution could lead to breathing problems, lung cancer, or heart disease.

Prolonged exposure also reduces life expectancy across regional populations. Globally, the WHO estimates that bad air quality sends over 2 million people to early graves each year. Even regions with only moderate air pollution still expose residents to air pollution capable of shaving an average of 8.6 months off of their lives. Every 10 micrograms of pollutants in a single cubic metre of air shortens lifespans by 0.3 percent.

For these reasons, you should heed air quality advisories. Wearing a mask or limiting outdoor activities will reduce the strain on your respiratory system until the smoke clears.

In addition to wildfires, daily human activities contribute to dangerous levels of pollution. Fossil fuels like gas and diesel consumed by the transportation and industrial sectors expel sulfates, nitrates and carbon into the air and produce smoggy haze. Fires, agricultural activity, and diesel generators also send a stew of ammonia, formic acid, and methanol into the air.

Although the role of fossil fuels in air pollution is well known, not all fuels produce the same effects. Natural gas gives off insignificant amounts of particulates, mercury, or sulfur when burned. As a fuel for home furnaces and fireplaces, it presents a clean route to high-efficiency home comfort.

While the smoky skies over Vancouver brought outdoor air pollution to your attention, don’t forget about indoor air quality. You can exert control over the air in your own home and eliminate unhealthy indoor pollutants. Contact us for more information about our products that filter bacteria, pollen, pet dander, and mould spores from your household air.

Additional sources
Wildfire smoke in Lower Mainland this summer 'unprecedented'