Most people today try their best to maintain their health by eating healthily and getting some exercise in here and there. We all know about the dangers of eating unhealthily and lazing around too much, but there are certain, more subtle dangers facing modern people, such as substances in the air we breathe! Here are some of the most toxic chemicals that you may be exposed to.
There’s no debate anymore: smoking is bad for your health. Tobacco consumption has been attributed to thousands of deaths over the years, and remains one of the leading causes of cancer, coronary heart disease, and a range of other terrible conditions. Even if you’ve quit, or never smoked in your life, you don’t need to put a cigarette in your mouth to be affected by the severe toxicity in tobacco smoke. Second-hand smoke is a very real problem, and one which countless non-smokers are being affected by every day. When you passively inhale smoke, the polyps of the lung become irritated and enlarged. The larger a person’s polyps, the greater the risk is of them metastasizing into cancer. Try to cut down your exposure to secondhand smoke by asking your partner or other family members to take it outside, standing up-wind from smokers, and avoiding bars that don’t have a smoking ban in place.
Exhaust fumes are another major health hazard which countless people breathe in every day, and to make matters worse it’s something that you can never really cut out altogether. There are a lot of dangerous chemicals found in car exhaust, but the main chemical is carbon monoxide, which is also among the cancer-causing ingredients in tobacco smoke. As if this wasn’t enough, exhaust fumes are also brimming with nitrogen oxide, benzene, sulfur dioxide, and a range of other chemicals. Each of these substances are pathogens, and have the potential for very severe health effects, both immediately after exposure and in the long term. Benzene exposure in particular has even given rise to a lot of niche legal firms, which specialize in benzene lawsuit resolution. Unless you want to live in the woods, you can’t avoid exhaust fumes entirely. However, you can make a point of avoiding enclosed spaces with running cars, or supporting the gradual shift towards hybrid and fully electric vehicles.
At one time, it was normal for paints to contain poisonous substances such as lead and mercury. The glaring health risks associated with this have been addressed, and these substances have been banned in most of the developed world. However, modern paint formulas still contain Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) which are harmful when inhaled. Without the right protective equipment like respirators and face masks, people who work around paint for extended periods of time can experience a build-up of toxins, leading to liver damage and severe migraines. The best way to avoid exposure to these kinds of chemicals is to shop around whenever you’re buying paint, varnish, lacquer, or anything else that’s been known to contain VOCs, and find products with low or no concentrations.