We often overlook the importance of healthy lungs. It’s not until we have trouble in breathing or keeping up with our daily activities that we recognize the importance of healthy, working lungs.
Lung cancer, one of the deadliest of all lung diseases, still remains prevalent throughout the United States. Research by the National Cancer Institute notes that although the occurrence of lung cancer amongst individuals decreased in the 1980s and the 1990s, yet lung and bronchus cancer remain the leading cause of cancer-related mortality throughout the United States. “An estimated 87,750 and 72,590 deaths predicted to occur in men and women, respectively, in 2012,” notes the CA Cancer J Clinic. And that, “… 75% of lung cancer cases are attributable in part to smoking tobacco, with a higher estimate of 85% to 90% for the United States,” highlights the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Conditions at Work That Cause Lung Diseases
A lot of workers in the United States are occupationally exposed to a wide range of infectious and life-threatening lung diseases at industrial work settings. The absence of federal laws that regulate smoking at workplaces, it is another factor that greatly contributes towards lung diseases in industrial settings. While smoking can cause serious health conditions, research emphasized that the toxic fumes and carcinogenicity of tobacco smoke are not limited to the smoker and can have a negative impact on the lungs of non-smokers that inhale the ETS.
Furthermore, Environmental Tobacco Smoke (ETS) or second-hand smoke meets the criteria set by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) for classification as a potential occupational carcinogen [Title 29 of the Code of Federal Regulations, Part 1990]. It is known to affect the health of the smoker and other workers exposed to the smoke.
With lung diseases growing rapidly, it’s important that we understand how certain conditions at work can adversely affect the health of our lungs in order to take preventive measures.
Protect Your Lungs
Our lungs are an important organ that support the respiration process. Considering the ever-increasing list of threats affecting the lungs, here are some safety measures you can take to keep them healthy:
Smoking is the leading cause of lung diseases. Tobacco smoke can contain as much as 7,000 different toxins. Each time you smoke a cigarette, these toxins enter your body and adversely affect your lungs and airways.
Make Home & Workplace a Smoke-Free Zone
While smoking directly impacts the health of your lungs, secondhand smoke, chemicals and pollution in the air also promote dangerous lung diseases. Avoid exposure to toxins and pollutants in the air by adopting a smoke-free policy at home and your workplace.
Maintain a Safe Work Environment
Most professionals spend a much longer time at work than they do anywhere else. Keeping this in mind, maintaining a work environment that is smoke-free and is safe for your lungs can go a long way.
Enroll in an ISO 14001 Compliance Program and learn more about how the environment at your workplace can be made safer.
Perform Breathing Exercises
Just like working out keep your body in shape, performing breathing exercises can help your lungs stay healthy too. When you focus on your breathing to maximize the performance of your lungs, this organ works harder and becomes more efficient. An article by the European Respiratory Society states that your breathing increases from 15 times per minute to 40-60 times per minute just by performing exercise.
Stay Safe from Respiratory Diseases
A simple cold can easily transform into a chronic respiratory disease. Here are few ways healthy habits to help keep your lungs in top condition:
- Washing your hands often
- Avoiding going to crowded places when during the cold and flu season
- Maintaining a good oral hygiene
- Getting vaccinated for influenza
- Using a scarf or face mask to cover your nose and mouth when it is cold outside
Your lungs deserve care and attention just like the rest of your body. It is essential that you follow practices taught in the ISO 14001 Training and promote the health of your lungs.