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Risk of heart disease due to fine dust
The direct relationship between heart attacks and fine dust has been established by scientists for years, with fine dust being accused of being more harmful than cholesterol! Fine dust is a form of air pollution caused by the small particles released from the combustion of fossil fuels and other human activities. Living next to a highway, airport, factory, or in a busy city exposes you to more fine dust particles and increases the risk of a heart attack.
But why does fine dust pose a greater risk of heart attacks? What can you do to protect yourself from the harmful effects of fine dust? Is an air purifier the best way to prevent heart attacks caused by inhaling fine dust? In this blog, we take a closer look at the relationship between fine dust and cardiovascular disease and provide practical advice on how to protect yourself from the negative effects of fine dust with an air purifier.
How particles affect the heart
Particles can affect the health of the heart in various ways. Below, we analyze some mechanisms that are reportedly involved in the relationship between fine dust and cardiovascular disease.
Fine dust can cause inflammation in the body. This is because the small particles enter the lungs and bloodstream, where they can cause reactions that lead to inflammation. Chronic inflammation can in turn contribute to the development of conditions such as atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries), heart attacks, and strokes.
2. Oxidative stress
Fine dust can also cause oxidative stress. This is a process in which too many free radicals are produced in the body, which can lead to damage to cells and tissues. Oxidative stress is associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease.
3. Other mechanisms
Fine dust can also interfere with other important mechanisms for a healthy heart, such as the regulation of blood pressure and blood sugar levels. It can also affect the blood clotting process, which can increase the risk of blood clots and heart attacks.
Several studies have been conducted on the relationship between particles and heart disease. For example, a meta-analysis of 17 studies found a positive association between exposure to particles and the risk of heart attacks and strokes. Another study found that people living in areas with higher levels of particles had a higher risk of heart failure.
Furthermore, heart diseases and high blood pressure occur more frequently in people living near the Tata Steel factory, according to a report by the regional health service GGD from June of this year, which for the first time directly links the emission of fine dust particles from the factory to these diseases.
In short, exposure to fine dust can affect heart health in various ways. It can cause inflammation and oxidative stress and interfere with other important mechanisms for a healthy heart. Various studies point to a link between fine dust and heart disease, indicating that it is important to reduce exposure to fine dust to prevent these diseases.
What is heart failure and how can it be detected?
Heart failure is when the heart pumps blood less efficiently. As a result, organs and muscles do not receive enough oxygen and nutrients. Blood vessels become full and fluid can leak, especially into the lungs, abdomen, legs, and ankles.
Heart failure often manifests gradually, and in the beginning, you may not notice much. But over time, symptoms can arise, often initially only during exertion and later also at rest. The symptoms depend on the severity of the heart failure and vary from day to day. Some symptoms to watch out for include shortness of breath, getting tired faster than before or than peers, and retaining fluids (such as swollen ankles that are noticeable when taking off socks).
Does an air purifier help?
An air purifier protects your heart health from fine dust by reducing the amount of particles in the air. This is especially useful if you live in an area where the air is heavily polluted by fine dust or if you are sensitive to heart problems. To check if there are dangerous levels of fine dust in your home, it is best to use a fine dust meter. An effective and easy-to-use device that tells you the quality of the air in your home in a few seconds.
Air purifiers filter the air and remove harmful particles such as fine dust. There are different types of air purifiers on the market, but most use filters to clean the air. The most effective air purifiers use HEPA filters (High-Efficiency Particulate Air filters), which can capture more than 99% of the particles transported by the air, including fine dust.
Using an air purifier with HEPA filters can reduce the amount of particles in the air that you breathe. This, in turn, helps to reduce inflammation, oxidative stress, and other mechanisms that increase the risk of heart disease due to exposure to particles.
If you live in a heavily polluted area, such as near a highway, close to a factory, an airport, or in a city with a lot of traffic, you need a professional air purifier with a high capacity, such as the EDC650. If you have a smaller space in your home, the EA90 is a good and equally effective alternative.
Tips to protect yourself against heart attacks caused by fine dust
Although the air purifier is undoubtedly the most effective and important measure we can take to prevent health risks caused by fine dust, there are other measures we can take at the same time:
- Keep windows and doors closed. Fine dust can easily enter your home through open windows and doors, so keep them closed as much as possible.
- Clean your home regularly. Dust accumulates on surfaces in your home, so cleaning regularly can help reduce your exposure. Use a vacuum cleaner with a HEPA filter to remove dust from carpets and upholstery, and use a damp cloth to wipe surfaces.
- Limit outdoor activities. When air quality is poor, try to limit your time outside. If you must be outside, wear a respiratory device that can filter fine dust particles.
- Avoid indoor smoking. Smoking can cause a lot of indoor air pollution, including fine dust particles. If you or someone in your home smokes, do so outside.
- Keep humidity low. High humidity can increase the number of house dust mites in your home, which can contribute to indoor air pollution. Use a dehumidifier to keep humidity low.
- Choose natural cleaning products. Some cleaning products can release harmful chemicals into the air. Choose natural cleaning products that do not contain harmful chemicals.
In summary, using an air purifier with HEPA filters helps reduce the amount of fine dust in the air and protect the health of your heart. But it is important to combine the use of an air purifier with other measures to reduce particle exposure and thus reduce the risk of heart disease.
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