The end of April brings Air Quality Awareness Week, which is as good a time as any to explore the best ways to protect your lungs from unhealthy air. It’s an especially important lesson for those living in urban centers, where traffic congestion is the usually the most intense and air quality tends to be the poorest.
The good news is that there are a number of ways to keep your lungs healthy and functioning properly, even if you’re in a busy city like New York, Los Angeles, or Chicago. So, what exactly can you do to keep your family safe?
1. Check the forecast
These days most weather forecasts show far more than just the chance of rain. In fact, most television and radio newscasts and weather websites now provide detailed information about air quality, giving you a head’s up if smog or air pollution could make going outside for long periods of time particularly unsafe.
If you or a family member suffers from a serious lung condition, such as emphysema, it may be a good idea to take things a step further and download a weather application that provides regular updates on the air quality situation in your area. Good sources for apps of this kind include the American Lung Association’s State of the Air app and the U.S. government application airnow.gov.