Air Quality: 5 Ways to Avoid the Effects of an Inversion

Pollution is a major issue and inversions only concentrate that pollution, creating more problems for everyone.

With the growing of generations comes the growing of pollution. Pollution has been a topic of conversation and has received increasing attention over the last few years. There are many ways we as humans create pollution and many ways that pollution affects us. One facilitator of pollution is inversion.

Inversion occurs when cold air settles over a valley or canyon and when a warm front comes through, it keeps the cold, polluted air down in the valley almost like a smog blanket. This polluted air is thus trapped in the valley, creating a greater concentration of pollution in that area. Fog intensifies this problem, expediting chemical reactions that create even higher levels of pollution.

When pollution is high, it is not only bad for the environment, but bad for our health. It can be especially bad if you are affected by a chronic disease such as lung disease or asthma. The concentrated pollution can worsen symptoms and gives every person a higher risk of heart attacks or breathing problems. Fortunately there are ways to help avoid being affected by this concentrated pollution.

Take Medicines as Directed

If you suffer from any chronic illness or have breathing problems, be sure to take your medications as recommended by your physician. Create an action plan to take care of yourself and what to do in an emergency, should you have problems. If you don’t have an action plan, consult your doctor to determine what would be the best action plan to take during an inversion.

Stay Indoors (if possible)

It’s easier said than done, but staying inside as much as possible will limit your exposure to the pollution caused by an inversion. Air conditioning and heating units use a filtration system that helps filter the polluted particles out of the air. You should also pay attention to the air quality guidelines in your local area. Pay special attention to those days that are rated, “yellow” or “red”, as those are high pollution days that should be avoided when possible.

Exercise Indoors

A number of people enjoy running and exercising outside. However, during an inversion, it is advised to exercise indoors instead. When you exercise you take deeper breaths, which will bring more pollution into your lungs. By staying indoors during your workouts, you are not subjecting your lungs to harmful pollution and bad air.

Be More Environmentally Conscious

We can all reduce the amount of pollution if we do our part. Try using non-toxic products and avoid using spray cans. Instead of using oil-based paints, use water-based paints. Use a shovel instead of a snow blower, carpool or take city transit to work and avoid contributing to harmful air pollution. You can also upgrade to energy efficient appliances in your home.

Do Your Best to Reduce Emissions

Obviously if there is an inversion, it is recommended that you stay indoors. However, there are things you can do to also reduce the risk of such a concentrated pollution. Reducing carbon emissions is one of them. Use a more fuel-efficient vehicle, carpool, try to drive slower to increase efficiency, walk, or use a bike.

Encourage others to reduce emissions as well by starting a bike group at work and joining communities with similar goals. Your company could even sponsor a company-wide initiative with gear from companies like DHDWear. By setting goals that involve other people you bring a greater sense of comradery and are more likely to follow through with your commitment.

We can all do a little more to reduce our carbon footprint on this planet. Pollution is a major issue and inversions only concentrate that pollution, creating more problems for everyone. There are things you can do to both reduce the effects of inversions on yourself and reduce the effects on the world as a whole. Be conscious, protect yourself and do your part.

Emma Sturgis, the author of this post, is a freelance writer from Boston, MA.

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