October is set aside for lung health awareness. It’s National Healthy Lung Month 2016, and Lung Health Day is October 28. National Respiratory Care Week is October 25-30. It’s good to remind ourselves to be aware of the things in our environment that can harm our lungs, and to be compassionate to people who are suffering from illnesses such as COPD, the nation’s third-leading cause of death, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
Why It’s Important to Participate in Healthy Lung Month
Lung disease affects a staggering number of Americans. About 10 million adults are diagnosed with chronic bronchitis each year, about 4.7 million others have been diagnosed with emphysema and about 25 million people live with asthma.
Occupational lung diseases, which include asbestosis and mesothelioma, also affect many Americans. Occupational illnesses are estimated to cost $150 billion annually. Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), typically caused by long-term exposure to lung irritants that damage the lungs and airways, is attributed to occupational exposure 19.2% of the time.
Ways to Avoid Lung Irritants for Healthy Lung Month 2016
Harmful air pollutants exist indoors as well as outside. Toxic substances commonly found in the home can be at least as harmful as pollutants normally encountered outdoors. Although our homes can harbor many sources of respiratory irritation, it’s not difficult to make our homes safer places to breathe. Common lung irritants found indoors include lead, formaldehyde, radon, cleaning agent vapors and fire-retardants. Natural pollutants also make their way into the home, including pet dander, dust mites, and mold.
Here are a few simple ways people can avoid these lung damaging agents:
- Use a vacuum cleaner with a HEPA filter to reduce lead, chemical build-up, and allergens such as pet dander in the home. Follow this step by mopping with a microfiber mop to soak up any leftover particles.
- Fill the house with plants. Indoor plants purify the air, removing toxins such as formaldehyde, benzene, toluene, and xylene. Spider plants and aloe vera plants are good indoor choices.
- Beware of scented cleaning products, laundry detergents, and air fresheners, all of which can damage the lungs. Choose fragrance-free products whenever possible.
- Make sure your home has a radon detector. Radon–a colorless, odorless gas–is the second-leading cause of lung cancer in the United States.
Maximizing your lung health is what the Lung Health Institute is here to do. We hope you’ll find something in our many blog posts to help you breathe more easily. Join us in participating in Healthy Lung Month 2016!
About Lung Health Institute
The Lung Health Institute is a leading medical provider of regenerative cellular therapy for lung diseases such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), pulmonary fibrosis and interstitial lung disease in the United States. To date the organization has treated over 2,500 patients. The Lung Health Institute’s in-house outcomes summary shows that 83 percent of patients studied saw an improvement in their quality of life. Founded in 2013 in Tampa, Fla., the Lung Health Institute currently operates clinics in Tampa, Fla., Nashville, Tenn., Scottsdale, Ariz., and Pittsburgh, Pa. and Dallas, Texas. For more information, please visit www.lunginstitute.com/dev or call 888-745-6697.