Poor outdoor air quality and air pollution affect everyone, but they’re very bad for people with lung and liver problems. Going outside exposes you to outdoor risk factors like

  • air pollution
  • secondhand smoke
  • dust
  • fumes
  • chemicals
  • mold, fungi, and bacteria

Certain places have poorer air quality than others. The American Lung Association has information about air quality in specific areas.

Even if you’re careful, you may have breathing problems when exposed to pollutants and other irritants. But, talk to your doctor before you adjust your medicine or the level of your supplemental oxygen. Your doctor will assess your condition and recommend options for treatment and risk avoidance.

Air pollution risks

In communities where air pollution is common, news and weather reports often give air quality reports and warnings. If air quality is low, they may recommend that you stay inside or limit your activities when outdoors. You can reduce your risk by following their advice. And, if you have to stay indoors, keep your windows closed.

Outdoor risk factors during car travel

  • Steer clear of crowded highways at the height of rush hour.
  • If traffic’s bad, find another route. Or, plan travel when traffic is lighter.
  • If you can’t avoid rush hour, keep your windows closed and turn on your air conditioner. Replace your cabin air filters as scheduled — or more often if needed.

More tips to reduce your risks

 

For more in-depth information on this topic, please visit the Big Fat Reference Guide.