Air pollution is damaging our mental health

The higher the level of particulates in the air, a new study shows, the greater the indications of psychological distress.

“This is really setting out a new trajectory around the health effects of air pollution,” says Anjum Hajat, an assistant professor of epidemiology in the School of Public Health at the University of Washington.

“The effects of air pollution on cardiovascular health and lung diseases like asthma are well established, but this area of brain health is a newer area of research,”

Speed of change is also important…

Rapid increases in pollution may be as harmful to the heart as sustained high levels, according to research published today in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology.

Even though the ambient air in the city of Jena is comparably clean, the significant association between rapid changes in nitrogen oxides and onset of myocardial infarction (MI) suggests that the current EU statutory limits do not sufficiently protect against effects relating to the cardiovascular health of the population. A more specific definition and stricter implementation of statutory limits for rapid increases of nitrogen oxides are potentially needed to address this issue and to close this gap regarding the risk of MI.

It is not only the cars…

Research shows paints, perfumes, sprays and other synthetic items contribute to high levels of ‘volatile organic compounds’ in air

In roadside air in Los Angeles researchers found that as much PM2.5 and Ozone came from industrial and household products refined from petroleum as from vehicle exhaust pipes.

A rough estimate is that between one quarter and a third of all particles are made up of organic compounds that originate as VOCs

(future) Mothers beware…

A newly published study shows that increased exposure to PM2.5 in the periconception period is associated with a modest risk increase for congenital malformations. The most susceptible time of exposure appears to be the 1 month before and after conception.