You know air pollution hurts your lungs.
But what about your heart?
Dirty Indoor Air Bad for Heart
It turns out that air pollution is another factor that contributes to cardiovascular disease. According to a new study, air pollution can increase inflammation, which leads to many chronic diseases.
This study looked at the effect of air pollution that occurs inside the home, and a step that may reduce that pollution.
Indoor air pollution poses a particular problem to overall health because we spend most of our time inside.
That’s why the new research from Canada is important, because it found that a type of indoor air filter could help cut risks to cardiovascular disease from pollution. This fascinating research further expands our understanding of the link between pollution, inflammation and disease. Reducing or eliminating sources of pollution and dealing with toxins is a major issue. To learn more about detoxification, see my article: Why You Need to Detoxify 24 Hours a Day
The research findings were published in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, a journal of the American Thoracic Society.
Improve Indoor Air Quality and Cut Cardio Risk
Lead author of the study, Ryan Allen, Ph.D., assistant professor at Simon Fraser University, explained the goals of the study:
“Our main objectives were to evaluate the potential for a simple intervention to improve indoor air quality and reduce pollution-related cardiovascular health risks and to better understand the mechanisms that contribute to air pollution-related cardiovascular health problems.”
Smoky Stoves Emit Pollution
The study looked at a little town in British Columbia, Canada where, as might be expected, smoke from wood stoves is not only a key source of heat, it is also a major source of air pollution inside homes.
So to see if they could clear the air and improve the health of residents, they put HEPA (high efficiency particle air) air filters into 25 homes. The air filters were installed in living rooms and bedrooms.
But Buses and Trucks also Emit Pollution
While the study was done in a town where wood smoke was the major source of air pollution, it is likely to be relevant to other environments in which the byproducts of combustion — such as the particles from the diesel exhaust from trucks and buses — foul the air.
Improving the Air with HEPA Filters
The results of the Canadian study were impressive, finding that the HEPA filters placed inside the houses tested worked to cut average amounts of fine particulates by 60 percent and wood smoke by 75 percent in the homes tested. They also discovered that using the HEPA filters was associated with reduced inflammation, namely a 32.6 percent decrease in C-reactive protein (CRP), and an improvement in a test for blood vessel function. Learn more about improving heart health: Love Your Heart with Stress Management.
The reduction in CRP noted in the study is comparable to those that have been achieved with dietary changes.
It should be noted however that the study showed a decrease in particulates and wood smoke from the filters, but not a complete elimination of the indoor air pollution. Removing the source of the indoor air pollution, in this case the wood stoves, should provide an even more dramatic reduction in indoor air pollution.
Dr. Allen concluded: “HEPA filters are a potentially useful intervention since they are relatively inexpensive to purchase and operate and can effectively remove tiny particles that can be inhaled, to improve air quality inside homes where the majority of time is spent.”
To get a better idea about particle pollution, here’s a bit more about particles from the U.S.
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