Categories super nutrition academy health class
Is Air Pollution Killing You Too? Find Out In This Episode
Click here to subscribe in iTunes (and download)
Is air pollution killing you too? That’s what we’re going to discuss in today’s episode of the Super Nutrition Academy Health Class. All right, guys, welcome and if you’ve ever been wondering whether or not living in the industrialized world is perhaps negatively affecting your health, then some new research might kind of tip the scale to that end.
Some recent research in, again, this was published early July in the journal Environmental Research Letters—showed that air pollution alone claims more than 2.1 million lives every single year. That’s pretty significant. And this is worldwide, so obviously on a worldwide scale, maybe that’s pretty small, but that’s 2.1 million individuals due to air pollution.
You might ask: How on earth do they even estimate that? Well, that’s a good question. This study that was done at the University of North Carolina used a number of different weather models and different atmospheric models and things that they have access to at the university to conduct this study to find all this research and all these numbers.
What they wanted to show, as well, is that there’s a disparity between deaths caused by air pollution versus deaths caused by climate change. For instance, 470,000 deaths occur each year due to increases in ozone caused by humans. When we talk about the greenhouse effect and ozone, those would be more kind of climate-change-related deaths. That’s still quite a lot; that’s 470,000 people.
Why does air pollution make us sick? Well, basically it comes down to a very simple understanding. There’s a surge of fine particulate matter in air pollution. These tiny air particles can then penetrate deep into the lungs, like right down to the lower bronchials and alveoli and cause cancer and other respiratory illnesses.
This is very interesting because respiratory illnesses are one of the top ten leading causes of death in the world now. It’s very, very prevalent. Not just things like emphysema and things like that, but these can also exacerbate issues like emphysema and asthma and stuff like that. It’s very, very problematic.
What this all goes to show us is the importance of kind of this toxic insult that our bodies are able to handle. We can only handle so much before our systems break down. In the case of air pollution, well, what are you supposed to do? Are you supposed to move to a different planet or wear a gas mask? You could do that but maybe it’s not very feasible to on a daily basis. I’ll give you some tips in a moment.
I just want to give you a little bit more insight into the study. Here in the study the researchers simulated the concentrations of ozone and fine particulate matter in air pollution in 1850, when the industrial era kind of began, and the year 2000. They used 14 different climate models to simulate levels of ozone and another 6 to simulate fine particulate matter caused by humans.
That’s how they kind of came with these results. It’s kind of interesting. What they were able to show in addition to air pollution is that climate changes have resulted in 1500 deaths due to ozone and 2200 deaths resulting from fine particulate matter in air pollution every single year.
It’s really amazing how they come up with these numbers specifically. I really have no idea how they do this stuff but it’s pretty amazing. Nonetheless, they’re showing that more deaths are occurring due to air pollution than due to climate change, at least in respect to this kind of airborne stuff.
Again, what are you supposed to do? You’re supposed to move to a different planet? Well, not really. There are a couple things you can do. First of all, with respect to exercise, I remember when I was in university. I lived five minutes away from the school, so I would bike to class five minutes before class started because I was a lazy guy. I wanted to sleep in all the time. that was before I knew how to eat properly and be healthy.
It got me thinking because I’d be biking behind these cars or even a bus. I’m thinking if I’m breathing heavily or more heavily while I’m riding my bike than if I were walking, then what that means is that I’m breathing more deeply and I’m breathing more frequently and I’ve got this exhaust coming at me.
So, what does that say? That means that I am inhaling a greater amount of crap deeper down into my respiratory system, which is not a good thing. That’s why you’ll often seen bikers with gas-mask types of things on, because it’s actually a pretty serious issue, especially if you’re exercising in polluted areas, because you’re breathing deeply and heavily and your respiratory rate is increasing.
You’re taking more stuff in down to a deeper level when you’re exercising. If you are exercising outdoors, the best time to do it, really, is when there are lower levels of pollution, and that tends to be later on at night, kind of after rush hour, or kind of around sunrise.
The benefit there is that the levels of UV radiation are also a lot lower too, so it’s kind of a doubly whammy. Before work or after work, generally the best times to go for a run if you’re going to do that kind of stuff outdoors. If you’re going to be on a bike, you may want to consider one of those kinds of filter masks just because you are going to be breathing pretty deeply, especially if you’re in the city.
I live in the country now. I love living out here; it’s awesome. We’re actually considering moving back to the city. I’m not too sure why. I think the walkability is nice and just having more stuff to do. But the beautiful thing about the country is that there’s so much just beautiful nature to walk around in. We’ve got some really great local forests that we can go to. And obviously there’s less industrialization out here.
Being able to get out and go to the forests—and a lot of big cities now have some amazing parks, so just being able to get outside, get into nature, expose yourself to trees, because trees are very, very important for improving the quality of our air, that’s a very simple thing you can do.
Even if you live in, like, Central Park in New York City, love it. I love it. If I lived in New York, I would probably live in the park. I don’t even think I would live around the park; I would live in the park. Having that kind of green space in a city is so important for the well-being of its population. I really do believe that.
Get outside but get into natural kind of nature types of environments. Don’t go for a run down a busy street in rush hour. You’re just asking for disaster.
The other thing you want to look at doing is doing a proper detoxification program, especially if you live in more of an urbanized area. One of the reasons we developed our Total Wellness Cleanse is because of this very fact that we live in this world of toxicity and we need to do things to get that toxicity out of our body.
There are things you can do with respect to the foods that you eat and the foods that you choose not to eat, and we show you exactly how to do that in the Total Wellness Cleanse. If you want to learn more about it, you can go to TotalWellnessCleanse.com.
And I think doing a cleanse like that at least once a year, which is a little bit more focused, a little bit more specific on getting a lot of the toxins out of your body, because these toxins not only reside in your respiratory system, but if they get into your bloodstream, they will end up sitting around in your fat cells. Your fat cells will store these toxins, and these toxins will stay in your body. The problem is that your nervous system is predominantly fat as well, so these toxins can accumulate in the nervous system and create some big problems down the road.
Yeah, there you go; 2.1 million deaths every year due to air pollution. Crazy, crazy stuff. And 470,000 deaths due to increases in ozone as a result of climate change. Really crazy stuff.
Take some of the tips that I just gave you in this episode, put them to practice, and if you want to learn more about our cleanse, you can do so at TotalWellnessCleanse.com. Yeah, that’s all for today. This is kind of a short one. I thought I’d bring this up because we kind of forget about air pollution all the time.
It’s like a fish in a fish tank doesn’t realize he’s in water; it’s just kind of the way it is. He’s just in water, just as we are in air. It’s important to realize what is around us and how that’s affecting our health.
If you have any questions, you can always join us back at the blog at SuperNutritionAcademy.com/blog. You can find this episode on air pollution and share your two cents. Until then, thanks for tuning in. I’ll see you in the next episode.
About Super Nutrition Academy
Super Nutrition Academy is the ONLY nutrition course that makes it easy for everyday people to understand the complex relationship between nutrition and health. If you're tired of all the conflicting health information out there and want a clear-cut, evidence-based understanding of the nutrition and health topics that matter you, then get started today.