Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Air pollution risks: Stroke and memory loss

Bad air quality days have been linked to a higher risk
of stroke and memory loss, according to new studies.
By now, we all know that living in a metropolitan city, near a busy highway or close to industry is bad for your health.

But researchers are still figuring out just how bad it is. Previously, air pollution has been linked with problems of the respiratory and cardiovascular systems, heart and lung diseases.

Now you can add two more risks of air pollution to the list – stroke and memory loss.

Two studies in the Archives of Internal Medicine have come to these conclusions after watching Boston area residents on Good and Moderate air quality days and after monitoring women in higher-pollution areas in the US.

The women in the second study experienced a faster long-term decline in thinking and memory skills, researchers found.

This means that even levels generally considered safe by health authorities could affect people’s health negatively, experts say.

Whenever air quality is deteriorating, experts advise people with respiratory diseases to stay indoors, especially during the rush hour times.

The Boston study shows that air pollution might impede the body’s ability to regulate blood pressure (when blood vessels dilate and constrict in response to the environment to keep it constant), which in turn increases the risk of stroke for certain people.

The same reason could lead to the memory loss documented in the second study, since air pollution may affect blood flow to the brain and therefore cognitive function, researchers say.

Women should not be too concerned by these findings, they suggest, but the results may warrant further research into the effects of air pollution on thinking and memory.

Source: Reuters

Make sure you breathe clean indoor air

While experts suggest for people susceptible to outdoor air pollution to stay indoors on bad air quality days, indoor air pollution may be just as bad if not worse for people’s health.

Most indoor environments feature a variety of pollutants and aggravating agents, including airborne chemicals, gases, fumes, odors, dust, particles, bacteria, viruses and mold.
AllerAir's air purifiers for the home and office
feature activated carbon and HEPA air filters.

Apart from source control and adequate ventilation, a portable and powerful air purifier with activated carbon and HEPA air filters can make a huge difference in the air quality inside the home.

Activated carbon is the most important filter media to remove chemicals, gases, odors and vapors, while HEPA is an important filter for particles, dust and allergens.

See also AllerAir's general purpose air purifiers, air purifiers for allergies and asthma and the whole home air cleaners.

For more information, contact AllerAir today.