How Air Pollution Gets Into Our Bodies

by Mar 28, 2019

I have to be honest. Until I started reading about air pollution, I didn’t think much about it. I mean, I knew that it was bad in a vague, general kind of way, but my thinking never went past that. Air quality was way too easy to ignore, and it was even easier to downplay its importance to my own health and the health of every person on this planet.

The reality of air pollution didn’t hit my consciousness until I visualized poor air coming into my lungs. I saw myself breathing in air that is full of harmful chemicals, that air traveling in and through my nose, down my throat and into my soft, squishy, absorbent lungs.

My lungs taking in whatever is in that air and my bloodstream spreading it across my body, into all of my organs, including my brain (read about the effects of air pollution on our brains HERE ; spoiler alert, it ain’t good).

Air is all around us. Whether we are sitting on the couch, driving in the car, traveling on a plane, walking in the park, it doesn’t matter. We are never not around air.

If you are currently breathing, then you are consuming whatever is floating around you, seen or unseen, odorless or scented.

That inescapable fact kind of freaked me out at first. But it gave me the much needed kick in the pants to stop ignoring the importance of air quality. After this finally clicked for me, I also learned that air pollutants don’t just come into our bodies through our nose and lungs.

Besides breathing in contaminated air, air pollutants gets into our bodies in the following ways [1]:

 

And as the world globalizes, and more of our food and products come from places with fewer air quality regulations and greater air pollution, the more I realize that air pollution is not a “their” problem, but an “our” problem. Let’s come together – for each other and ourselves.

Take a moment to cultivate positive emotions for yourself and others using this short Loving Kindness meditation.

Till next time.

Wishing you joy, safety and ease,

Anna

References

[1] https://www.epa.gov/haps/hazardous-air-pollutants-sources-and-exposure

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