Air quality can differ greatly from cities to the country. According to a recent study from the University of Colorado at Boulder, people in crowded urban areas tend to have higher rates of asthma, allergies and similar respiratory conditions. Part of this may be attributed to the lack of certain microbes in the air, as these particles are present in more rural regions and improve the health of residents.
These microbes boost the immune system, according to the study. When individuals are not breathing in the particles, however, their immune systems may not be as able to fight off infections or breakdowns, causing a number of otherwise preventable disorders.
"Chronic inflammation can lead to all kinds of problems from irritable bowel syndrome to asthma to allergies and even depression," said Christopher Lowry, the co-author of the study. "The rise of chronic inflammation and these associated disorders, especially among people living in the cities of developed countries, is troubling."
There are still options for people who live in urban areas. Home air purifiers such as the IQAir GC MultiGas are effective at clearing the air of a wide variety of pollutants. These devices can provide welcome relief for anyone who does not get as much of the fresh country air as they would like.