I was in Lanzarote recently and while enjoying the winter sun, we had a surprise visit from the Sahara.
For about 36 hours we had air pollution warnings by the hotel and iPhone.
‘Extremely hazardous to health’ apparently so we stayed indoors for the most part until it blew over.
As it turns out, the Sahara desert, with its vast sand dunes and arid climate can have an impact on air quality in other parts of the world, including the Canary Islands.
And it’s been affecting the locals health there over the long term.
One of the main effects of the Sahara on air quality in Lanzarote is the transport of dust and sand particles through the atmosphere.
The wind can pick up these particles and carry them over long distances, sometimes even across oceans, before depositing them on other land masses.
This phenomenon is known as the ‘Saharan dust event’.
When it blew over, we were welcomed by a desert coloured dust on pretty much everything outdoors, beautiful and yet harmful!
Air pollution is one of the biggest killers in the world because it affects the health of millions of people worldwide.
It can cause a range of respiratory illnesses, including asthma, bronchitis, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
These illnesses can be fatal, especially in vulnerable populations like children and the elderly.
Air pollution has been linked to an increased risk of cardiovascular diseases, including heart attacks, stroke, and high blood pressure. These conditions can also be fatal, especially when combined with other risk factors like smoking or a poor diet (which most people have!).
Long-term exposure to air pollution has been linked to an increased risk of lung cancer and other types of cancer.
Exposure to air pollution during pregnancy can increase the risk of complications such as preterm birth, low birth weight, and even stillbirth.
It can also have negative effects on overall health, such as increasing the risk of allergies and other respiratory problems…
What can we do if we live an an area with high levels of pollution other than move to a cleaner area?
Optimise your detoxification pathways!
The body’s detoxification pathways work together to remove harmful toxins and pollutants that have entered the body through the respiratory system.
This helps to reduce the harmful effects of air pollution on the body and maintain overall health.
The body has several detoxification pathways that work together to eliminate toxins and harmful substances.
When we breathe in polluted air, the lungs work to filter out harmful particles and pollutants.
The respiratory system has tiny hair-like structures called cilia that help to trap particles and move them out of the lungs.
The mucus that lines the respiratory tract also helps to trap pollutants and remove them from the body through coughing or sneezing.
Note: Exercise and deep breathing practices help the lungs. Don’t smoke or vape!
The liver plays a crucial role in detoxifying air pollutants that enter the body through the respiratory system.
The liver processes and converts these pollutants into less harmful compounds that can be eliminated from the body through urine or faeces.
Note: A great diet helps the Liver. Alcohol does not!
The kidneys also play a role in removing toxins and waste products that are produced by the liver.
When the liver metabolises air pollutants, it produces waste products that are eliminated from the body through the kidneys in the form of urine.
Note: Optimal hydration helps the kidneys. Not alcohol!
The lymphatic system helps to remove toxins and pollutants that have entered the body through the respiratory system.
It filters out harmful particles and moves them to the bloodstream for elimination.
Note: Movement helps the lymphatic system. Avoid a sedentary life!