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Keeping your lungs safe and healthy

Read time: 2 mins

So often, many of us take breathing for granted. It occurs naturally without thought, so many never really reflect on all the dangers our lungs may be facing every day. From indoor contaminants to pollution outdoors, we can be possibly exposing our lungs to serious toxins without even realizing. Keeping our lungs healthy is vital for our overall health and wellbeing.

There are plenty of ways to make sure your lungs are healthy now and into the future. Regular exercise and aerobic activities, staying hydrated and a balanced diet of fruits and vegetables can all go a long way at keeping lungs healthy. Not smoking, or getting support to quit smoking from helpful resources like Healthy Ireland, is one of the most important ways to improve not only lung functioning, but overall health as well.

Being mindful of environmental toxins and irritants in everyday life can also be just as important in maintaining lung health. Dust, allergens and mold can commonly be found in daily life and all affect breathing. Regular cleaning, air filters and watching for signs of water damage are all simple steps you can take to limit the impact of these irritants.

Irritants in our environment can sometimes lead to more serious conditions that should be kept in mind. Radon is an odorless, colorless gas that can seep into buildings through the foundation and build up. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, exposure to radon is a known cause of lung cancer, so it’s important to know when and how to properly test for radon. Asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral fiber that was used primarily in construction during the 1920s to 1970s and while its use has been banned, it can still be present in existing buildings. 

When contained, asbestos-containing materials do not pose much risk, but when these items like drywall, insulation, tile mastic, etc. are disturbed, the fibers become airborne and can be inhaled. Exposure to asbestos can over time lead to scar tissue and a chronic lung condition called asbestosis or potentially a rare cancer called mesothelioma, which you can learn more about here from the Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance. Knowing the signs of possible asbestos and having licensed professionals carry out any testing and abatement can reduce risk of exposure.

Simple steps like these and improved awareness can help keep lungs and homes healthy for many years to come! We rely on our lungs more than we sometimes even realize, and it’s up to us to better educate ourselves and protect them from the countless contaminants in our daily environments. With just a little effort, we can all breathe easily knowing our lungs are safe and healthy.