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How to Protect Yourself and Your Family from the Hazards of Unhealthy Air

 

 

 

Man cycling wearing a mask in a polluted city

While most people know by this point in time that there are many environmental hazards that we are exposed to each and every day, few of us know just how many of them there are out there! When raising a family, it is important to ensure their health as well as your own because you are, after all, the one ultimately responsible for their care. Before looking at how to protect yourself from the hazards of unhealthy air, you first need to learn what the leading causes are, and only then can you learn ways to protect yourself from those dangers. Here is some of what you should understand.
 
Major Illnesses Caused by Environmental Pollutants in the Air We Breathe
 
According to the MyHealth website in Alberta, Canada, some of the early signs of environmental toxins would include such things as:
  • Headaches
  • Nausea
  • Chills
  • Fever
  • Aching muscles
  • Coughs
Those could be signs of other illnesses, but these are common symptoms of airborne pollutants. If you can find no other systemic reason for those symptoms, there’s a possibility that you are breathing toxins from the environment.
 
Some of the more serious illnesses and diseases suffered can include cancer, especially lung cancer, and heart disease. In fact, the air you breathe can affect all of your vital organs, so it is essential that you protect yourself when there are dangerous levels of pollutants in the air.
 
Air Pollution Is a Bigger Problem Than You Can Imagine
 
Many people are laboring under the false impression that only city dwellers are impacted by pollutants such as automobile and industrial fumes in the atmosphere. While it is worse in cities, did you know that pollution can travel with air currents for many hundreds of miles? In fact, 2018 saw several record-setting fires in California, the smoke from which was actually seen and measured as far east as New York State! That’s over 3,000 miles! 
 
Such things as temperature inversions and changes in the jet stream can bring all those pollutants to your little town far outside the city limits. So, what can you do about it? The first thing you may want to consider is running your HVAC with a high-quality filter. Try to spend the least amount of time outside and if you must be there for an extended period of time, a face mask made to filter out tiny particles is recommended. 
 
Financial Consequences from Breathing Unhealthy Air
 
As stated above, some of the consequences are short-lived for the period of time in which those pollutants are in the air, such as the smoke from wildfires or time you spend in a major metropolitan area on vacation. However, some of the consequences you suffer can be life-changing illnesses that even your term life insurance couldn’t have foreseen. 
 
Sometimes you are unable to work for extended periods of time when suffering major illnesses and those medical bills keep piling up. When you have a term life insurance policy, you can’t cash it in early to use the money for those expenses but under certain situations, you can borrow against the current value if you’ve held it long enough. You can use that borrowed money to pay premiums or to use toward those medical bills, but you won’t be able to borrow the entire value. A term life insurance policy is specifically set up to pay a cash benefit upon your death to the beneficiaries. 
 
Can Those Health Hazards Prevent You from Renewing Your Term Life Policy?
 
At this point, you may be wondering whether you can renew that term life policy when you’ve reached the term you were insured for. These can be set as far in the future as needed, but typically run for 10, 15 or 20 years. If you find that you were able to effectively treat those environmental illnesses, make sure you have renewable term life insurance.
 
Just remember that each insurance provider has different conditions, stipulations, terms and, of course, prices will vary from one insurance company to the next. However, if you live in an area that isn’t as apt to be exposed to environmental health hazards and expect to live a longer lifespan, make sure you have that renewable policy so that there is no interruption in coverage or change in pricing when you renew.
 
Cigarette Smoke Is Right Up There with Automobile and Manufacturing Pollutants
 
Getting back to the matter at hand, unhealthy air, cigarette smoke presents just as much danger as pollutants from automobiles and manufacturing. Any chemical released into the air and inhaled can have devastating consequences, so always refrain from smoking in enclosed areas where others are present. If you are a smoker you should obviously quit, but if you can’t, why subject your family to the dangers of second-hand smoke?
 
In recent years, other airborne pollutants such as radon gas have made the news, but those kinds of toxins are not as common as the smoke coming from your cigarette of the fumes from cars and manufacturing plants. These are the top three causes of unhealthy air and the three you should be most aware of.
 
A Few Closing Tips to Keep You Breathing in These Dangerous Times
 
According to the lung.org website, it is suggested that you don’t burn trash or wood and if you must, those masks recommended above are meant to offer protection from smoke and tiny particles rising from the burn pile. Whenever possible, refrain from using gas-fueled lawn equipment and if you have to cover too much ground for a manual mower, battery or electric mowers are said to be safer alternatives.
 
Just remember that there are toxins in the air and it is up to you to do your best to protect yourself and your family from being exposed. Some of these pollutants may not pose a threat for many years to come and others such as carbon monoxide may have instantaneous effects. You need oxygen to survive, so do everything in your power to ensure the air you breathe is free from pollutants – even those you can’t control.
 

 

 

 

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