The summer season is almost upon us and that means (weather permitting) barbeques, working in the garden – and possible self-made outdoor air pollution, which can severely affect people with asthma and allergies. Burning (combustion) of any kind, indoors or outdoors, produces nitrogen oxides, carbon monoxide and particulate pollution. Charcoal, wood, and garden rubbish are all 'dirty' fuels that emit ample pollutants when they are burned. In short, outdoor pollution doesn't just come from vehicle exhausts – it can also arise from summer activities. So follow these tips to have fun, while not triggering asthma attacks or exacerbating heart or lung problems through exposure to air pollution.
Use propane, natural gas or natural charcoal as fuel for a less polluting barbeque.
Cancer research organisations warn that barbequing meat, poultry and fish produces polyaromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), which are known carcinogens. When fat drips onto the hot coals, PAHs enter the smoke and you breathe them in. Marinading before grilling cuts the amount of PAHs in smoke significantly – it is thought that citrus juices, wine or vinegar in a marinade mix form a barrier of some kind. So don't BBQ raw meat, fish, or chicken – stick it in a tasty marinade first.
Keep a constant eye on the barbeque. Turn meat frequently to prevent 'flaring' which produces bursts of pollutant-laden smoke into the atmosphere
Barbeque at a lower temperature, aiming for a roast rather than a grill. This releases fewer cancer-causing pollutants into the air.
Having an occasional bonfire for a celebration is probably OK. However, burn only dry material as any dampness will produce more polluting smoke. Also, piling up damp wood and leaves will increase the number of mould spores in the air, potentially triggering allergies.
Most garden waste can be recycled either by composting or removing it from your garden using the Council's 'green waste' collection. Do this, rather than getting into the habit of regularly burning garden rubbish.
Remember, in the United Kingdom it is an offence under the Environmental Act to burn domestic rubbish in such a way as to cause pollution or harm to human health. Never add plastic or rubber materials to a bonfire as the resulting fumes can trigger an asthma attack and hurt anyone with an existing heart or lung problem. It is also an offence to create so much smoke that it endangers visibility for traffic on a nearby road.
Hay fever in march tends brings on sneezing, a runny and/or blocked nose and red, streaming eyes. If you experience these symptoms, then it is likely that you have seasonal allergic rhinitis - also known as hay fever. Having Hay Fever means that you are likely allergic to pollen and, at this time of the year, it is most likely that tree pollen is the underlying cause.
The VAX AP03 air purifier is a basic mid-range air purifier with basic features. The timer is simple, but the filter life indicator seems flawed. It is hard to imagine the odour/carbon filter to be anything else then ineffective in capturing and retaining gases and chemicals.
Burning wood in a stove or fireplace is a common thing to do and can create a nice, cozy and warm atmosphere. Wood burning, however, also releases a broad range of air pollution in the air and can pose a real threat for people with respiratory conditions such as asthma.