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Pollution, what can we do to protect ourselves? What are the health effects?

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Pollution, what can we do to protect ourselves?  What are the health effects?

by Maria Giovanna Faiella

Italy is the first country in Europe for deaths attributable to air pollution. Last year around 69 thousand premature deaths mainly from heart attacks and strokes, but also from lung cancer and COPD

What impact does air pollution have on our health? What can we do to defend ourselves? We asked Alessandro Miani, professor of Environmental Prevention at the University of Milan and president of the Italian Society of Environmental Medicine (Sima), who once again reiterates the need to «act quickly to drastically reduce the main emission sources of pollution atmospheric”.

How to protect yourself in these days of peak pollution?

«First of all, children and the elderly must avoid outdoor walks, especially those with previous chronic diseases who have a compromised cardiovascular or respiratory system».

Can those who are well go for a run?

«If you really want to do it, better in green areas, possibly in the very early hours of the morning or in the evening, after the heavy traffic has stopped. But it would be preferable to avoid, at least these days, as well as cycling.”

Can wearing a mask be useful?

«It is certainly better to wear it, but it is a partial filter not capable of protecting against the finest dust, which is the most dangerous because it reaches deep into the respiratory tree, the pulmonary alveoli, and is also capable of passing through the barrier. blood”.

Any other useful tips?

«Inside our homes, ventilate the environment by opening the windows that overlook internal courtyards or secondary streets, or in any case avoid opening them during peak traffic hours. In any case, it is always advisable to open the windows several times a day to change the air in the apartment or in other indoor places (schools, gyms, workplaces, universities, cinemas, transport) where on average there is higher pollution to the external one. If you have only one window overlooking busy streets, it is a good idea to equip yourself with systems – scientifically validated – for air purification or mechanized ventilation with pre-filtration of incoming air.”

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February 21, 2024 (modified February 21, 2024 | 11:23)

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