When picking a new place to live, there are a number of factors to consider before deciding that a place is the right one for you. Of course, you may have already thought about how efficient the public transportation is in this new neighborhood, how close your favorite amenities are, and if there are parks, schools, and public libraries close by. You may have made a list of all the most important factors, but you may be forgetting one crucial one: air quality.
You may be asking: why should air quality be a factor when choosing a new neighborhood?
Of course, it may be obvious: you want you and your family to breathe clean, fresh air. You may even be considering moving to the suburbs to ensure that you’re breathing in the least amount of pollution possible. But whether you’re moving to a new neighborhood in the city, in the suburbs, or in the countryside, air quality matters.
Suffering from allergies or asthma?
Millions of people suffer from respiratory ailments or illnesses such as asthma, and even more people suffer from seasonal allergies. Regardless of the severity of your breathing issues, research or measure the quality of the air in several areas in your new potential neighborhood: you may uncover surprisingly high pollen levels, for example, or a high number of car and trucks that pass by that may affect your breathing.
Inside your new home
You may also want to check the air quality inside your new home before you move in. Based on your findings, you may want to invest in tools like a humidifier or an air purifier to make it a healthier place.
If there’s a freeway or a highway nearby…
This may severely affect your breathing and the quality of the air you breathe. Continuous exposure to exhaust can cause shortness of breath, bronchitis symptoms, and other negative health outcomes, especially in the very young and the elderly.
But air quality affects more than just the air.
Of course, the air affects your breathing and, overall, your health. But it can contribute to the good or bad health of everything else around you: if you eat locally, the pollutants in the air can contaminate the soil in which your food grows. Additionally, you may be drinking water contaminated by air pollutants, or you may be touching similarly affected soil and dust.
While one person may not be able to control the air quality in their area, a collective effort can make a sizeable difference in the long run. There are many ways you and your neighbors can help improve air quality, too: use public transportation or carpool, conserve energy by turning off lights, computers, and electric appliances when not in use, and use energy efficient light bulbs and appliances. These are just a few ways you can take immediate action – and there are so many more!
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