While we know that air pollution can increase your risk of asthma, cancer and lung disease, an article in a recent issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology suggests that even “acceptable” levels of pollution can also lead to heart damage.

Breathing bad air can do the following: negatively affect heart rate and blood pressure, disrupt blood vessel function, interfere with blood clotting and accelerate the development of atherosclerosis (clogged arteries). Researchers suggest you limit exercising outdoors when pollution levels are high, but they also say reducing air pollution is the real solution.

FYI: African-Americans and people who live in lower socieo-economic areas are more likely to live in environments plagued by illegal dumping and as a result are more likely to suffer from air pollution. But you can do something about it. Learn how you can fight back by reading RH’s “Seeing Green.”