Stay Away from Those Dominant Males

Or something like that. A new study indicates that we should avoid stress because it could make your reaction to air pollution worse. The study induced stress by forcing a rat into the home cage of a dominant male. That’s actually a pretty good experimental model for how insecurities and oppression can give us stress. In the rat test, stress by itself didn’t induce much effect on the lungs nor did exposire to air pollution, but the combined exposure had a major effect – difficulty breathing, heart rate abnormalities, lung inflammation. Stress can magnify one’s reaction to toxics in the air making an otherwise innocuous exposure adverse, and very possibly ruining your day.

Or something like that. A new study indicates that we should avoid stress because it could make your reaction to air pollution worse. The study induced stress by forcing a rat into the home cage of a dominant male. That’s actually a pretty good experimental model for how insecurities and oppression can give us stress. In the rat test, stress by itself didn’t induce much effect on the lungs nor did exposire to air pollution, but the combined exposure had a major effect – difficulty breathing, heart rate abnormalities, lung inflammation. Stress can magnify one’s reaction to toxics in the air making an otherwise innocuous exposure adverse, and very possibly ruining your day.

Air pollution is beyond our direct control – it's societal, and on certain bad air days, it just hangs there waiting to invade your lungs. But what is within our control is how we react to it – it's important to reduce your stress level through things like running (hopefully when air quality is decent), yoga, having great friends, hobbies and a positive outlook. If you’ve got that pressure cooker of a job, maybe start looking elsewhere.  The rats have taught us what my teens have been trying to for years – just chill – I think it’s a great non-toxics tip for every day of the week.    


Will you ever feel comfortable in your own skin? That is, if you don't make an effort to protect it? Although 64% of adults do report wearing sunscreen when outside for prolonged periods of time, it turns out that only about 10% of people surveyed actually protect themselves daily, according to a recent review.

No matter what your skin tone is, unless you live in a cave with no sunlight, daily protection with either sunscreen, sunblock or protective clothing can not only protect you from developing sunburns (ouch!) but can significantly reduce your risk of developing skin cancer, particularly the deadliest type called melanoma. In addition, for those of you wanting to keep your youthful looks, daily sunscreen has been shown to reduce the development of wrinkles. A great teacher once told me that the best way to not have wrinkles is not to get them in the first place (think of how much money you can save on useless creams that claim to diminish wrinkles).

Keep Reading Show less