Air Pollution Affects Cognitive Functions, Study Shows
According to a new study from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health’s Center for Health and the Global Environment, SUNY Upstate Medical University, and Syracuse University, people working in offices with below-average levels of indoor pollutants and Carbon Dioxide (CO2) is more likely to be better at cerebral activities like acquiring information, reasoning, attention, memory and language than those who are exposed to high levels of indoor pollution.
In a test where both participants and analysts were blinded to avoid bias, the participants are tested in a “green” and “non-green” buildings. The findings suggest that improved air quality could greatly increase the cognitive function performance.
Click here to read the whole study.
What does this mean?
This might not be “big news” for most of us who mostly stays at home.
One might say “The study is based on office spaces with bad ventilation and crowded spaces, what does it mean to me?”
If you come to think about it, our house is a building on its own. We live inside it, every day we do chores, move around, sit in the sofa, eat dinner in the dining table. Our kids play inside, they watch television, use the computer, study for homework. Someone’s daily routines can be considered work, right?
If that’s the case, air pollution inside our home is directly affecting our family in a daily basis. Basing from the study I mentioned above, working on spaces with high levels of indoor air pollution can affect the cognitive functions of a person. It may lead to a person doing chores at home to have low quality of work or children doing assignments and studying for exams would perform poorly in class.
What can I do?
As alarming as it may sound, you can definitely do something to improve the air quality in your home.
Cleaning Your Home - A cleaner home will have less dirt and dust inside which makes the air inside cleaner! Constant cleaning is a very good habit to have.
Putting Plants inside – CO2 or Carbon Dioxide is another component to indoor air pollution. Plants lower CO2 levels inside the house because they need it for photosynthesis. Oh and also, one of the waste products of photosynthesis is fresh Oxygen! How cool is that?
Keep humidity to a minimum – High humidity can lead to mold and mildew which gives high risk of coughing and asthma symptoms. To prevent high humidity make sure that you fix leaks in the roof before rainy season arrives and check piping inside the house.
Good ventilation – having a good ventilation is a very good way to deal with indoor air pollution. With a good ventilation you are sure that the air inside your house always fresh! Just make sure that you don’t ope the ventilation during busy hours when the air outside is full of car smoke and other pollutants.
Get an air purifier – A powerful air purifier is a very good way to deal with indoor air pollution. Air purifiers works like a vacuum sucking air inside your house and removing dust, allergens and other pollutants that you cannot clean!