Is the air you're breathing hurting or helping your bones? Today we'll take a look at the science behind how what’s in the air has a direct and measurable impact on your bone health.
First, we'll examine the effect of carbon dioxide accumulation indoors, and then we'll look at the shocking results of a study on chemicals found in household dust.
Together they paint a clear picture of the actions you should take to breathe easier about your bone health.
Carbon Dioxide And Your Bones
Breathing air with an excessive amount of carbon dioxide (CO2) has been linked to measurable bone loss in studies conducted on the crews of nuclear powered submarines.1 On a submarine, of course, air must be internally circulated and that's unusual.
However, you might be surprised about how close the air composition in your home can get to those levels. Carbon dioxide levels on the submarine used in the study ranged from 5,000 to 10,000 ppm. In a bedroom with the windows closed the concentration of CO2 can reach 4,500 ppm overnight with as few as two people present.2
While there is no data on the relationship between carbon dioxide levels in the home and bone loss, the submarine study provides us with enough information to make an informed decision about the best practices to protect our bones. Opening your windows on a daily basis to allow air circulation will prevent CO2 from accumulating, eliminating any possible risk.
The reason CO2 harms bones is that it has an acidifying effect on the serum pH, which results in the body rebalancing it. Once the alkaline reserves are depleted, minerals from bones are used, causing bones to weaken.
Extended exposure to high levels of carbon dioxide (CO2) has been shown to cause bone loss. That's because CO2 acidifies the serum pH. Two people in a bedroom with the windows closed can accumulate elevated levels of CO2 overnight, so open your windows daily to allow ventilation.
Another Reason To Open Your Windows
A study conducted by researchers at Milken Institute School of Public Health (Milken Institute SPH) at the George Washington University has provided a shocking revelation about the contents of household dust.
They completed the first comprehensive analysis of consumer product chemicals found in household dust. To do this, they took dust samples from homes in 14 states and tested them for chemical contents. Shockingly, they found 45 toxic chemicals typically found in cleaning products, personal care products, building materials, and home furnishings.3
These toxic chemicals are winding up in the dust in our homes. We are exposed to multiple chemicals in dust every day, including toxins linked to serious health problems, even cancer.3 As Savers know, bone loss accelerates with exposure to toxins.
The study's authors advised that consumers who want to reduce their exposure to chemicals in household dust can keep dust levels low by using a strong vacuum with a HEPA filter, washing their hands regularly, and avoiding cleaning or personal-care products that contain toxic chemicals.
Many of the chemicals in dust are introduced into the household environment through store-bought products. Try all-natural alternatives, or even making your own bone-safe personal care products at home.
We can add opening your windows to this list, to allow in fresh air that's free of toxic dust, and to let out the chemical-carrying dust particles.
Researchers collected samples of household dust from homes in 14 different states and identified 45 toxic chemicals in the dust. These chemicals can lead to serious health problems, and people are continually exposed to the dust in their homes. To reduce risk, avoid using chemical-based cleaning and personal care products, and open your windows daily to reduce the concentration of toxic dust in the air.
What This Means To You
The air around us is not perfect or pristine, as today's study shows. We must take additional actions to protect ourselves from the toxins that have accumulated in the modern world. Opening your windows for at least 15 minutes each day to get better ventilation is one important lifestyle change you can make to protect your bones. Since the air outside is cleaner before 10 am and after 9 pm, especially if you live in a city, try to open the windows within those times. And if you have windows that don’t face the street, make sure you open them.
You can enhance your body's process of filtering toxins with the Save Institute's Osteoporosis Fresh Start Cleanse. It's a seven-day cleanse that won't leave you hungry or feeling weak, and a healthy course of action for providing focused support for your body's toxin filtration system.
Your body works hard to expel unwanted chemicals and keep you feeling good. Take care of it by making bone-healthy choices every chance you get.
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I really appreciate how you keep us up to date with bone health. I love reading your newsletter! Thank you, Vivian.
Thank you, Ita.
Good info. When the weather is cool early mornings, my husband lets the cool air in. Very few people in our neighborhood ever open their windows. Do you think house plants actually help this?
Vivian, Do you recommend a removable filter for face mask, if so what should be used and is 100% cotton better than any other type fabric for making the mask?
Fascinating information, Vivian. I will start opening windows in my house more often and be more careful about reading labels of beauty and cleaning products now that I know this. Thank you!
As my apartment overlooks a busy road I do not open the windows at night, but do so during the day. As I have a dust allergy my vacuum cleaner has a filter which goes in next to the dustbag which is very helpful. Many thanks for your excellent articles. Heather Nisbet
Very interesting. Does this also mean that wearing a face mask would be also detrimental for bones due to the elecated carbon dioxide that would be inhaled?
Very Effective Tips. Thanks for sharing.