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UK Heart Disease Deaths Fall by Over 20% Since Indoor Smoking Ban

The dividends from indoor smoking bans are beginning to pay out. The Guardian reports that heart disease deaths are down 20 percent since the U.K. passed an indoor smoking ban a decade ago.
Your life depends on the air you breathe. Your body is so dependent on oxygen, you can go only three minutes without air. The quality of air you breathe affects your respiratory system and your overall health. People who are employed in the U.S. spend 2 percent of their time outside, 6 percent in transit and 92 percent of their time indoors.

This means your indoor air quality is more important to your long-term health than the air you breathe outside. Interestingly, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) states the levels of indoor air pollution can be between two and five times higher inside than they are outside.

Some indoor pollutants can be as much as 100 times higher than outdoor levels. These differences are related to the type of pollution and the relative lack of air exchange in new energy efficient homes. According to the EPA, poor indoor air quality is one of the top risks to public health.

Indoor pollution may come from several different sources, including furniture, cabinetry and pollution drawn inside through your ventilation system. High temperatures and increased humidity can concentrate some pollutants inside.

The good news is that you can make a significant difference in the air quality both at home and at work, no matter the age of the building. According to research led by scientists from the University of Illinois, improvements to older buildings, producing better air quality, resulted in fewer reports of headaches and respiratory problems, and less psychological stress. 

Houseplants can brighten your space and purify your air. Research also demonstrates that greenery in your environment improves your mental and emotional health. One of the easiest ways to reduce the pollutants in your home is to open the windows. Because most newer homes are energy efficient and have little leakage, even opening a window 15 minutes a day can improve the quality of the air you breathe.
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