Protecting One’s Personal Microenvironment from Global Climate Change

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Bio Logic Aqua Research founder Sharon Kleyne reports on health effects of climate change on skin and eyes, suggests proactive defense.

Climate change, drought, and air pollution play havoc with Earth’s atmospheric water vapor - also called “humidity” - reports water and health researcher Sharon Kleyne. Human skin is sensitive to humidity fluctuations, according to Kleyne, because the body relies on the evaporation of water from the skin’s sweat glands to cool itself. Upsetting this mechanism can have serious health consequences. Kleyne suggests several proactive strategies to protect the body from humidity fluctuations, including the creation of a personal microenvironment around the body of clean, humid air.

Sharon Kleyne is Founder of Bio-Logic Aqua Research, a fresh water, atmospheric and health research and product development center. Natures Tears® EyeMist® is the Research Center’s global signature product to humidify dry eyes. Kleyne also hosts the globally syndicated Sharon Kleyne Hour Power of Water® radio show, broadcast on the VoiceAmerica Variety Channel, Health and Wellness Channel, and Apple iTunes.

For optimal health benefit, according to Kleyne, atmospheric water vapor content should be neither too high nor too low. If the humidity is too high, water produced by the sweat glands to cool the body cannot evaporate. If the humidity is too low, too much water to lost evaporation and the skin eyes and body can become dehydrated.

Warmer temperatures, Kleyne explains, increase the amount of humidity in the air. This is true for two reasons: (1) Warm air can hold more water vapor than cool air. (2) Warm air increases the rate of evaporation of water into the air from lakes, streams, the oceans and body surface.

Kleyne finds it interesting that warm temperatures, not cold temperatures, are associated with physical dehydration. According to Kleyne, while rising average temperatures have increased the humidity in many areas, in many other areas, it has produced extended and widespread drought that stresses the body’s ability to cool itself and increases vulnerability to dehydration. Cold air, Kleyne notes, is actually drier and more dehydrating than warm air but we tend to wear much more clothing when it’s cold. In extremely cold air, the body will freeze before it dehydrates.        

Heavy air pollution has a strong influence on human health, says Kleyne. Normally, for example, when water evaporates from the surface of a lake, most of it rises to the atmosphere’s upper troposphere, where clouds are formed. There, it becomes part of a raindrop or snowflake, and returns to Earth. The “troposphere” is the atmospheric layer closest to the ground.

Certain airborne particulate pollutants, such as carbon soot and fly ash, according to Kleyne, tend to attract and accumulate water vapor molecules from the air. The soot particle and vapor droplets fall back to Earth before reaching the cloud zone in the upper troposphere. For this reason, there is somewhat less rainfall in areas with heavy air pollution, even though the humidity near the ground may be unaffected.

When particulate pollutants land on the skin or eyes, Kleyne explains, they attract and accumulate the body’s water, resulting in skin, eye and body dehydration. Particulates can also enter and penetrate the lungs, causing all sorts of damage.

Between 2000 and 2010, says Kleyne, the amount of humidity in the stratosphere, the area above the upper troposphere, has decreased while the amount of humidity near the ground, on average, is unchanged. In the previous 20 years (1980 to 2000), stratospheric humidity had been declining. The recent decline in stratospheric humidity reflects a slight lowering of surface temperatures, which is good news to those concerned about global warming.

To lessen the health effects of humidity fluctuations and air pollution, Kleyne suggests several proactive strategies. Most important is keeping eyes and skin well hydrated. This is achieved by drinking at least eight glasses of water a day, in addition to all other fluid intake, taking plenty of baths and showers, avoiding solar radiation and sunburn, and keeping indoor rooms properly humidified.

To control the humidity immediately surrounding the body, known as the “microenvironment,” Kleyne suggests two products from Bio-Logic Aqua Research. The products, Nature’s Tears® EyeMist® and Nature’s Mist® Face of the Water®, humidify skin and eyes by infusing the body’s surrounding microenvironment with supplemental humid air.

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Mikaylah Roggasch
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