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5 tips to protect yourself from pollution

Fireplaces, travelling by car, producing energy... Pollution is the product of the emission of small particles and very small particles that infiltrate our lungs and our blood. This increases our chances of suffering from respiratory problems (asthma, bronchiolitis, and lung cancer) as well as cardio-vascular and neurological problems. Here are 5 tips to protect yourself from pollution, brought to you by Sebastian Vray, spokesman of the association "Respire" (breathe).

Ventilate closed spaces every day, at the right moments

Not ventilating your house to avoid adding more pollution is an awesome idea, if you want to do it all wrong. You just have to stick to doing it at the right moments. Avoid ventilating your house during the day’s hottest periods; that means avoid the time between 2 and 6 pm in winter and 11 am and 5 pm in summer. The ideal periods are between 8 and 11 am or between 10 pm and midnight in winter and 9 till 10 pm in summer. The reason, you ask? Because the air contains less particles during that time and is therefore, purer.

Sebastan Vray’s tip: “The air inside your house is often more chemically polluted that the air outside it. Remember to ventilate your house for 15 minutes. If you live near a main road, do it when traffic is minimal.


Move the time when you exercise or exercise in nature

Physical efforts make us breathe in more quantities of air. This is why you must avoid activities such as jogging and biking when pollution reaches its peak. Die-hard-athletes should run far from the main roads, preferably in parks in the morning or at night, when the day is freshest.

Sebastian Vray’s tip: “We breathe in around 15 000 liters of air per day. Our lungs are true filters and we must take care not to clog them. Contrary to popular belief, the masks sold at drugstores do not protect us from particles that are about a few micrometers and can penetrate the masks.



Improve the quality of the air inside your house

If you’re renovating or cleaning the inside of your house, bear in mind that detergents and products such as paint irritate your bronchi and render your respiratory route very fragile and increase its sensibility to pollution.

Sebastien Vray’s tip: “Choose paint and varnish made with volatile organic compounds when changing the atmosphere of your house or when preparing for the arrival of a baby. When cleaning, go for certified vegetable-based products, without synthetic chemical products which are very harmful to your lungs.”


Get out of your car at all cost

Why should you avoid going behind the wheel when there’s an episode of pollution? Well, to avoid making things worse of course, but also because drivers are those who are most exposed to pollution. They’re always nose to nose with Mr. in-front-of-them’s car exhaust that lets fumes out directly into the ventilation entry point.

Sebastien Vray’s tip: It seems that it’s best to take your bike and ride away from the main roads when pollution is peaking or just take external public transportation.


Grow a garden and get fresh air regularly

Plants at home reduce pollution inside your house to a considerable degree (don’t overdo it, though).

They suck in the toxic emanations and take them straight to the roots, where the soil’s micro-organisms destroy them. Certain plants are particularly efficient at that, like azaleas, chrysanthemes, ficus and ivy.

Sebastien Vray’s tip: “Get fresh air on a regular basis. Go into the woods to clean up your lungs and clean up your mind!”