Your personal environment plays a large role in your health. Some factors are obvious, such as having access to clean drinking water and quality food sources. Other factors, such as excessive sounds, cell phone exposure and poor air quality, though not visible, still play a role in your overall well-being. Fortunately, there are a number of ways to protect yourself.
Unsightly Trash Linked to Depression
Visual pollution is a term used to describe the impairment of natural views. This can range from large logging outfits removing old-growth redwoods to excessive billboards along the side of the interstate. While this may seem minor, your risk for depression increases by nearly 40 percent if you have a bad view from your window. Take time to check the views from your apartment or home before signing a new lease. Already locked in? Visit a local nature preserve or park to get a dose of unobstructed nature.
Turn the Radio Down
It’s no secret loud noises can lead to hearing loss, but did you know they can also cause heart health problems? Our brains interpret loud noises as a source of danger, which then leads our bodies to release hormones to prepare to flee or fight. Over time, this increased stress response can have a negative effect on our cardiovascular system. Limit your exposure to excessive, external noises by using noise canceling headphones. Turn down your car radio while driving and use earplugs at night if you live in a noisy area.
Air Quality Alerts
Wild fires, cars and factories are several of the factors that contribute to air pollution. Not only can air pollution irritate your eyes and nose, but it can lead to asthma and other respiratory illnesses. Protect yourself by using quality air filtration equipment in your home, office or factory. Consider exercising in areas with low traffic and limit your time outdoors when pollution warnings are high.
Eat Your Vegetables
Food has the potential to impact your mood, waistline and health. Fast food and processed foods have a lot of sugar, which can lead to large energy fluctuations throughout the day. If you eat a lot of food high in unsaturated fat, you could increase your risk for heart disease. Avoid temptation altogether by keeping healthy snacks at work or in your car. Try to plan grocery lists in advance to avoid unnecessary, unhealthy snack and meal choices.
Can my Cell Phone Really Give me Cancer?
Cell Phone towers, cell phones, and other appliances found in your household emit radio waves , also known as electromagnetic frequency or EMFs. At present, the only confirmed side effect from cell phone use is tissue heating. According to Cancer.gov, the body part next to the cell phone will get warmer. However, the device doesn’t have the ability to raise our entire body in a measurable way. Rather than throw out all of the electronics in your home, try to limit your usage. Blue light from cell phones has already been shown to disrupt your circadian rhythm and suppress melatonin production. Keep your cell phone in a separate room or across the room while sleeping. If you need to be on your phone before bed, turn on nigh-mode to make the light warmer since red light has the least power to affect circadian rhythm.
But my Water is Monitored
The EPA doesn’t regulate or monitor private wells, which can be contaminated with nitrates or nitrites from pesticides infiltrating into soil or microorganisms and parasites from wildlife. Tap water is not completely safe either. Older buildings with lead pipes may leach chemicals into your drinking water. If you use a private well, perform regular testing to ensure your water is safe. Another option is to invest in a filtration device, which can help remove contaminants at the tap.
It is definitely possible to ensure you have a safe and healthy personal environment despite the number of sources of pollution listed above. Remain mindful of your surroundings and take proper mitigation measures.