Have you ever wondered if where you live puts you at a higher risk for disease? If you live near an area where there’s a lot of pollution coming from industrial chemicals that you’re inhaling every day, this puts you at higher risk for disease, such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Many times these areas have a low cost of living, but that comes at a bigger price tag on your health.
LIKE DailyVitamina.com on Facebook! Get Your Daily Vitamin…FOR LIFE!
According to a new study released by the John Hopkins University School of Medicine, if you live in a poor or rural community, your chance of having COPD increases by almost 12%.
What is COPD? This is a chronic inflammatory lung disease that causes obstructed airflow from the lungs. Emphysema and chronic bronchitis are the common conditions that contribute to COPD. Symptoms include:
- Problems breathing
- Sputum production
In many cases people can get COPD after being long-term smokers or by long-term exposure to irritating gases or particle matter that come from cigarettes. If left untreated, people with COPD can develop heart problems, lung cancer and a variety of other conditions.
Researchers from this study found that in addition to smoking, there was an association of biomass fuels and COPD down south where the study was conducted. Except they suggest further research to understand the potential contribution of biomass fuel sources and air pollutants that contribute to COPD prevalence in these low-income areas.
Other studies agree with this hypothesis. According to a study from the Center for Construction Research and Training and Duke University, almost one-fifth of progressive lung diseases among construction workers might be due to exposure to gases, vapors, dust and fumes found in their workplace. The numbers are even higher in this study, with 32% of COPD cases among construction workers that never even smoked.
What can you do? In many cases you can avoid COPD by not smoking and from avoiding secondhand smoke. Already many states have banned smoking in public places in many parts of the country. If you work in an industrial environment, protect yourself against chemicals, dust and fumes because you can be doing long-term damage. Work with others in your community or even environmental organizations to find out what the quality of air is by your home. Make sure you’re taking the necessary steps to make sure you help clean up the air you breathe.