2017

When air pollution is bad, know how to protect yourself

pollution

The World Health Organization reported this month that pollution and environmental risks are responsible for 1.7 million child deaths per year. Around the world, pollution is constantly taking a toll on our health – and oz one pollution is especially problematic when the weather gets warmer.

While cities and states need to implement top-down measures to combat air pollution, those who live in particularly susceptible environments – like around major roadways – may not have the luxury of waiting for such changes to take place.

Yifang Zhu, professor of environmental health sciences at the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health, says there are steps we can take to protect ourselves and our families from air pollution, which has well-documented negative consequences for childhood asthma, birth outcomes, pregnancy risks, cardiovascular health, and other diseases.

Those steps include:

  • Understanding wind patterns. Wind changes throughout the day, helping to blow pollutants both toward and away from your home. In California, for example, the onshore and offshore sea breeze is predictable. Close windows when the wind is blowing from the freeway (or another pollutant source) toward your home. When the wind is blowing away from your home, you can open your windows.
  • Being aware of the time of day. As the weather gets warmer, ozone pollution – created when pollutants from cars, buses and factories react to sunlight – peaks in the early afternoon. If possible, avoid rigorous exercise outside during the early afternoon on summer days and do it another time.
  • Keeping your indoor air clean. Using a high efficiency (HEPA) air purifier in your house will reduce particle levels in your home, even if the air outside is heavily polluted.

 By Ryan Hatoum, UCLA Health 

Faculty Referenced by this Article

Dr. Yifang Zhu
Yifang Zhu
Environmental Health Sciences
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Richard J. Jackson
Richard J. Jackson
Environmental Health Sciences
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Timothy Malloy
Environmental Health Sciences
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Jared Diamond
Jared Diamond
Environmental Health Sciences
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Dr. Beate Ritz
Beate Ritz
Environmental Health Sciences Epidemiology
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Tao Huai
Tao Huai
Environmental Health Sciences
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Arabzadah, Hamid
Hamid Arabzadeh
Environmental Health Sciences
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Arthur Winer
Environmental Health Sciences
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Rosenstock
Linda Rosenstock
Environmental Health Sciences Health Policy and Management
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Dr. Robert Schiestl
Robert Schiestl
Environmental Health Sciences
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Feng Gao
Feng Gao
Environmental Health Sciences
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Mel Suffet
Irwin Suffet
Environmental Health Sciences
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Dr. Wendie Robbins
Wendie Robbins
Environmental Health Sciences
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Angelo J Bellomo
Angelo Bellomo
Environmental Health Sciences
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Niklas Krause
Environmental Health Sciences Epidemiology
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Nicole Green
Environmental Health Sciences
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Dr. Jane Valentine
Jane Valentine
Environmental Health Sciences
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Dr. Lara Cushing
Lara Cushing
Environmental Health Sciences
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Arthur Cho
Arthur Cho
Environmental Health Sciences
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Dr. Oliver Hankinson
Oliver Hankinson

Dr. Hankinson is a Distinguished Professor of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, and of EHS, and Chair of the Molecular Toxicology IDP

Environmental Health Sciences
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Dr. Candace Tsai
Candace Tsai

Associate Professor for Industrial Hygiene and Environmental Health Sciences

Environmental Health Sciences
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Jian Li
Jian Li
Environmental Health Sciences Epidemiology
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Miriam Marlier
Miriam Marlier
Environmental Health Sciences
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Dr. Kevin Njabo
Kevin Njabo
Environmental Health Sciences
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Dr. Shane Que Hee
Shane Que Hee

Industrial Hygiene & Analytical Chemistry

Environmental Health Sciences
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Pablo Cicero-Fernandez
Pablo Cicero-Fernandez
Environmental Health Sciences
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Michael Collins
Michael Collins
Environmental Health Sciences
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Michael Jerrett
Michael Jerrett
Environmental Health Sciences
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Dr. Pouran D. Faghri
Pouran D. Faghri
Environmental Health Sciences
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Brian Cole
Brian Cole
Environmental Health Sciences
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Andre Nel
André Nel
Environmental Health Sciences
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Rachael Jones
Rachael Jones
Environmental Health Sciences
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Richard Ambrose
Richard Ambrose
Environmental Health Sciences
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Jesus Araujo
Environmental Health Sciences
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Dr. Daniel Uslan
Daniel Uslan
Environmental Health Sciences
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Kirsten Schwarz
Environmental Health Sciences
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Curtis Eckhert
Curtis Eckhert
Environmental Health Sciences
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