Air pollution is a major health concern, representing a risk factor for cardiovascular and respiratory outcomes and shortening life expectancy even more than cigarettes in some cases. That’s why we believe it is so important to know our personal exposure to hazardous pollution, both in your city and indoor environment.
While some areas of the world are impacted more than others (loss of longevity is larger in poorer countries, with particular impact in China and India), a recent study revealed that even in the US, air pollution poses a significant health burden.
Unprecedented wildfires on the West Coast, extreme weather, and other major air pollution events affect the quality of the air we breathe. While we may not be able to escape this reality, we can try to manage it. The first step is to measure the quality of the air you are breathing right now.
Some handy tools
Our research for practical solutions led us to a couple of cool finds. First off, this Real-time Air Quality Index Visual Map. This is a free tool that shows you the quality of the air where you are in real-time. It shows you the location of their air stations, so you can get very granular.
If you live in a highly polluted city or are very sensitive to air quality you might want to check out Plume Labs. The company sells a device that allows you to measure air quality in real-time and predict pollution. It sounds ideal for commuters, as the mobile app can provide you with routes that minimize pollution exposure.
Don’t forget about indoor air
Indoor air pollutants like cleaning products, mold, and yes, viruses, can also contribute to an unhealthy environment. Since we are spending a lot more time at home it’s never been more important to be mindful of the quality of the air we are breathing. Happily, there is a new generation of “smart” air purifiers that we’ve been spotting over the last year or so. If you are curious here is a basic guide on how they work.
Let us know what you think!