The air we breathe: A ‘cultural’ insight

… Did you like our little pun in the title?

Yes, that was certainly intended, and for good reasons — the air you breathe isn’t just a simple combination of oxygen, nitrogen and other molecules. Oh, no. No, it is made up of more than that… millions, billions more than that. The air you are breathing (even at this very moment) is composed of millions, perhaps even billions of microscopic bacteria cultures that are being inhaled into our bodies with every little breath. (And no, this is certainly not the beginning of a substandard horror novel — we promise.)

It is certainly good cause, however, for someone to educate themselves more about such things and exercise caution when indoors or outdoors — like making sure to have a quality air filter in your home or car.

Humor aside, it is important that you know what you can expect from breathing in indoor and outdoor air, how it can affect your health and best practices for protecting your body and your family members’ bodies from the little invaders that hitch a ride on the air molecules around you. Without further ado, let’s dive in!

What exactly is in the air we breathe?

All right, so your big question probably is: What is in the air we breathe?

Simple. A mixture of bacteria, fungi, dust and other random particles that were mixed into the air from people, animals and objects within your home or from the environment. These bacteria, dust and other particles are exposed to the air in a variety of ways including from actions such as sneezing, coughing, speaking, laughing and simply just breathing. They can also come from our skin, our hair, our nails, etc.

If you have pets in the house, same thing. They can come from your carpet, drapes, furniture and bathrooms. It is really simply up to you in how creative you can get with guessing where they came from. The simple answer — pretty much everywhere.

According to this scientific analysis of airborne bacteria concentrations, “airborne viruses, bacteria, and fungi, known as bioaerosols, are of interest because some can cause human, plant, and animal diseases, while others are beneficial to human health and the environment.” For instance, if you have mold in your home, you are essentially inhaling those mold spores, which can cause you to become ill. If that wasn’t enough cause for alarm, there are 112,000 bacterial and 57,000 fungal phylotypes in the air, based on a recent study conducted.

As well, there are even little, microscopic creatures that can get mixed up in the air to like, for instance, dust mites, which we can also assume come from those very dusty places in our homes in those hard-to-reach areas. But there is nothing to fear, as there are 50 ways to get rid of dust mites

Protecting our bodies from dirty air

So, as we have just learned, bacterial, viral and fungal particles can be found in our air, which (if we all paid attention in science class) means that these can make us sick. So, naturally, we want to do the best we can to ensure that we perform best practices not only with ourselves but on our environment as well — aka be very clean. 

So, here are just a few things that you can do to keep yourself healthy and eliminate some of the mess that is swirling around in your air:

  • Suppress coughs and sneezes and teach others (i.e. children and visitors in your home) especially when sick. One common method is to cough or sneeze into the crook of your arm.
  • Wash your hands often.
  • Clean and sanitize commonly used surfaces (i.e., doorknobs, kitchen surfaces, bathroom surfaces, etc.). As well, make sure to clean where you wouldn’t normally, as our study before tested cultures from places where people would normally not clean.
  • Keep up to date on immunizations, as these are the best way to prevent illness should you inhale some flu-causing bacteria.

The best way to clean the air around you in Los Angeles

All of our tips previously are perfect ways to reduce some of the bacterial and fungal cultures in the air, but there is another, better way that we failed to mention… on purpose, because, hey, we have to leave the best for last.

The best way to clean the indoor air around you is to have a quality air-filtration system installed, as it will eliminate a lot of the stuff that is floating around in the air you breathe. Really simple solution — we can assure you of that. They not only filter the air of bacterial, viral and fungal stuff but they also filter out other particles you don’t want, such as dirt and dust. Not good for your lungs.

So, the next time you take a breath, just remember what is actually there.

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