A clean sweep

Women's Health (UK) - - STRONG MIND -

Air, the stuff you breathe, is tak­ing its toll on your health in a big way. The lat­est re­search, from Im­pe­rial Col­lege Lon­don, found that pol­lu­tion in city cen­tres negates the pos­i­tive ef­fects of ex­er­cise on the lungs and heart. There go your health gains. And you’re not off the hook once you walk through your front door – chem­i­cals, gases and bac­te­ria get trapped in build­ings, mean­ing the air can be up to five times more pol­luted than it is out­side, ac­cord­ing to the World Health Or­ga­ni­za­tion. Par­tic­u­larly prob­lem­atic if you work out at home, be­cause you in­hale more air through your mouth than your nose when you ex­er­cise and the for­mer is un­able to fil­ter out larger pol­lu­tants be­fore they reach your lungs.

So it was in­evitable that air qual­ity would in­fil­trate well­ness. Pin­ter­est searches for air-pu­ri­fy­ing plants have grown by 270% in the past year. ‘Plants are a re­ally ef­fec­tive way of re­duc­ing lev­els of toxic com­pounds to cre­ate a cleaner en­vi­ron­ment,’ says Fred­die Black­ett, founder of Patch – like De­liv­eroo, but for plants. He rec­om­mends aloe vera, which pro­duces oxy­gen at night, and golden pothos, which can re­move the com­mon house­hold pol­lu­tants formalde­hyde and ben­zene from the air.

If you’re the kind of per­son who can’t keep a cac­tus alive, you’re bet­ter off bring­ing in some tech sup­port. Those clever folk at Dyson have turned their at­ten­tion from vis­i­ble dust to the in­vis­i­ble kind with the Dyson Pure Cool Link (£349.99) – an air-pu­ri­fy­ing fan. You can also buy anti-pol­lu­tion sleep masks, which con­tain dis­pos­able car­bon sheets that at­tract and fil­ter out in­vis­i­ble par­ti­cles (£35, holis­tic­silk.com).

You might want to warn your bed­fel­low, though – noth­ing says ravish me like a mouth mask.

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