Air pollution has increased at alarming rates. According to the World Health Organization, air pollution alone kills an estimated seven million people worldwide per year, and 9 out of 10 people are breathing in air containing high levels of pollutants.
While we are seeing more pollutants in the air from sources such as vehicles, power generation and industrial processes, natural disasters like wildfires have been increasing in recent years, producing substantial gaseous air pollutants and airborne particles. The impact of wildfires in particular on climate and air quality has been so great that it cannot be ignored.
So, how can you ensure maximum protection from air pollution and poor air quality caused by natural disasters? Read on to find out how face masks can help.
Natural Disasters Are Increasing
What exactly is a “disaster”? An event is categorized as a natural disaster if it kills more than 10 or more, or leaves at least 100 people injured, homeless, displaced or evacuated. An event is also classified as a disaster if a country declares it is a natural disaster or if a country makes a call for international assistance.
According to the Centre for Research on Epidemiology of Disasters (CRED) in Brussels, Belgium, and EM-DAT (an emergency disaster database), the total number of natural disasters reported each year has been steadily increasing in recent decades, from 78 in 1970 to 348 in 2004.
These disasters include droughts, tsunamis, hurricanes, forest fires, typhoons, and floods. In 1980, there were only about 100 such disasters reported per year, but that number has risen to over 300 a year since 2000.
Air Pollution & Climate Change
The stats all show the same thing - the number of natural disasters is increasing! Scientists believe the increase is due to a combination of natural and man-made factors.
It’s no secret that emissions of pollutants in the air cause change in the climate, and conversely, climate change impacts air quality. According to environmental experts, while ozone in the atmosphere warms the climate, particulate matter (PM) can have either warming or cooling effects on the climate.
Climate change has influenced the widespread frequency of natural disasters. Climate change can raise the risk of extreme weather and can result in the increased risk and strength of disasters. Global warming is increasing the temperatures of the Earth’s oceans and atmosphere, which produce more intense storms of all types. Natural frequency and intensity variations also are a contributing factor.
With the ever-increasing population, people are building communities in flood-prone regions. This highly increases the likelihood that their towns and villages will be affected by flash floods or coastal floods. With such unplanned urbanization, people aren’t just putting themselves at a higher risk for flooding, but for natural disasters of all types, including earthquakes, storms of hurricanes and typhoons, and landslides.
Climate change and air pollution are tightly interlinked; air pollution not only contributes to climate change but it is also exacerbated by it–studies show that climate change increases the production of allergenic air pollutants, such as mold (think: damp conditions from flooding and extreme weather) and pollen.
How Air Pollution Affects You
Research has shown that exposure to air pollution, whether the exposure is brief or over a long term, can have very harmful effects on the lungs. An estimated over 3 million deaths due to outdoor air pollution alone occur worldwide every year.
Hazardous air pollutants can cause deadly and severe health risks even in the smallest amounts. Common hazardous air pollutants are mercury, lead, dioxins and benzene, and about 200 are regulated by law currently. Causing eye, skin and lung irritation–even blood disorders–as well as affecting the liver, immune, nervous, endocrine and reproductive systems, these hazardous air pollutants come with a plethora of risks to your health.
Many cities have responded by introducing policies aimed to reduce urban air pollution, but time is required to implement such policies that intend to improve air quality and even more time to actually have an effect on the environment.
Reducing Your Air Pollution Exposure
Many people simply cannot wait. Many people have serious respiratory problems that require additional aids to be able to get through the day.
Choosing to wear anti-pollution face masks may help reduce these risks. Anti pollution face masks are a great option to help you filter and breathe clean air while preventing exposure to some of even the worst air pollution.
The Benefits of Pollution Face Masks
While wearing a mask might feel uncomfortable if you are new to wearing one, if you suffer from asthma or COPD, the benefits outweigh the learning curve that goes with wearing a face mask. In warmer weather, masks help to protect against the harmful effect of pollution like dust, mold, and pollen, and in the winter, they act as a reservoir for warm exhaled air, preventing the cold air that can trigger coughing.
A proper anti-pollution face mask should act as a shield against many pollutants, including:
Those With COPD Are More Susceptible
Certain factors can cause symptoms of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) to exacerbate and worsen. The lungs of people with COPD are sensitive to irritating substances in the air such as: cigarette smoke, exhaust fumes, strong perfumes, cleaning products, pet dander, air pollution, and many more. Even extreme cold or hot weather can irritate the lungs! Identifying and finding ways to avoid irritants and triggers can help. If you suffer from COPD, and live near natural disasters or in a wildfire zone, wearing a mask can provide you with the protection you need.
Practice Air Pollution Safety At Home
Most people find that it only takes a few short days to become accustomed to wearing a face mask, but for those with respiratory illnesses like COPD or asthma, the accommodation period could be a little longer because of the increased sense of breathlessness.
Wearing a mask at home for short periods can help one get used to the sensation. Ease into wearing a mask while doing an easy task sitting down, like watching TV. Then, start going for walks around the house or doing a task like making dinner. Go outside gradually and eventually take a short walk around the neighbourhood while wearing your face mask.
While using an anti pollution mask made by Debrief Me®, you will be amazed at the lightweight and breathability of your mask. It will feel normal to you in daily life before you know it!
Invest in Breathing Protection & Masks
Breathing protection has never been as imperative, and we at Debrief Me® are dedicated to making the best anti pollution mask on the market today.
Debrief Me® is a US owned and operated company, and we offer a 100% satisfaction guarantee policy on all our products and stand behind our anti pollution face masks. We know we offer the highest quality face mask on the market today.
All our face masks are designed to be durable, but also comfortable enough to wear every day–even in the sweltering heat of summer. Our masks contain elastic, adjustable ear loops so they will not rub against your skin and cause irritations. The straps are non-latex and gentle on sensitive skin for those with allergies. We guarantee they are comfortable and will fit your face securely.
We offer four different styles of face masks, and have one specifically designed for children.
Do not wait to be able to breathe clean air like you never have before. Check out our store today to see how our full line of anti pollution face masks can help protect you and your health