New Study Links Air Pollution with Higher Risk of Depression & Suicide

According to a study that was published in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives, air pollution increases the rates of depression and suicide.

Unfortunately, as more than 90 percent of the world population is exposed to air pollution above the WHO-recommended levels, reducing the excessive amounts of polluted air may be helpful in preventing depression in millions of people.

How Was the Study Performed?

The particle pollution which was tested for the purposes of the study was made by burning fossil fuels from homes, vehicles, and industry.

The scientists said that this data strengthens the calls to tackle the emergency of dirty air on our planet.

The study emphasizes that air pollution is harming people’s mental health. Isobel Braithwaite, head of the research, claims that meeting the EU limits could make a major change.

Assuming a causal connection, air pollution reduction may lower the rates of depression by 15 percent. This would be significant as depression is a common illness and its numbers are elevating.

According to the WHO, more than 260 millions have it.

How Does Poor Air Quality Contribute to Depression?

Despite the exact link being unknown, Braithwaite explains that air pollution has been associated with higher brain inflammation, damaged nerve cells, and stress hormone production changes that have been further associated with poorer mental health.

The research discovered that a person who’s living for at least 6 months in an area with twice the limit of fine particulate matter or PM2.5 would have around 10 percent higher risk of depression.

Guidelines by the WHO note that the PM2.5s should go over 10 mcg per a cubic meter of air on average over 12 months.

Braithwaite claims that the research on air pollution and mental health is behind the one being done for its impact on the physical health.

Within 5 to 10 years, there could be a clearer notion of how our mental health will suffer from toxic air.

Sources:

EUROPEAN SCIENTIST

NEWS SCIENTIST

THE GUARDIAN

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