What in the world is SMOG? And why is it so ridiculously prevalent in Atlanta? Well, actually… I don’t care about its prevalence today, that is important, and it relates to our topography, our weather/wind patterns and our sad state of air pollution. My interest in this quest is to understand its impact on you.
The wikipedia definition of smog lists that it is “a type of air pollution derived from vehicular emission from internal combustion engines and industrial fumes that react in the atmosphere with sunlight to form secondary pollutants that also combine with the primary emissions to form photochemical smog“.
That’s a good definition, but at first glance, I have no idea what it does to me! So let’s take a look… Photochemical smog is the key, and in that category we have things like ground level ozone, nitrogen dioxide, carbon monoxide and sulfur dioxide. All are considered hazardous pollutants, that can be seriously damaging to your health.
Ground level ozone, which used to be a common by-product of many air filters. If you own an air filter, and don’t know for sure that it does not produce ozone, then you need to check it out. Ozone causes respiratory irritation which increases asthmatic and allergy symptoms, it can reduce lung function and increase respiratory infections, and can cause long term loss of lung function which could ultimately result in cancer.
Chronic exposure to sulfur dioxide is associated with lung irritation and early death (EPA Study), which can happen in any area with a high level of smog, especially if exposed to that smog for multiple days at a time. Nitrogen Dioxide, though a bad character too in this story, is readily detectable through its aroma, and even if you have no idea what to look for, if you smell it, you’ll want to get away from it.
Forbes Magazine listed Atlanta as the most toxic city in America in their article on 11/4/2009. Whether they would list it that bad today is really moot, the problem with toxicity in an environment, is that even if the toxic load stops today, the toxic environment does not! It hangs around for awhile… which, as I have told some of you at times, is likely going to be the reason that eventually pushes me out of this town. I am staying for now, but I don’t foresee the rest of my years in “Woodstockopolis”.
So what can you do about this? Well, for one, don’t contribute. Their are a plethora of online resources on how to reduce your toxic footprint. Reduce your total driving, figure it out, it is worth it. Second, make sure that you are a detoxifying machine! I think that we will see more supporting evidence of this in the near future, but your ability to remove toxins is the KEY to surviving in an environment that is not your own. Detoxification comes from your digestive tract, your lungs, your immune system and your liver and kidneys.
The best way to improve all of that at once, is to enhance your nervous system. Get adjusted regularly, and reduce your stress. Next, support the ability of your body to build detoxifying enzymes. Eat as many greens as you possibly can, and when that has been tapped out, it is time to consume juice plus, and from time to time, you should take daily detox for a month – three. Just to insure that you are getting the benefit of your inherent detoxifying systems.
I love learning more about clean living, I hope you could grow to love it too! Be well, be clean – Dr. E