Air Pollution Damages Neurons, Leads to Infertility and Birth Defects
Air pollution is a traveling, insidious health problem. In other words, air pollution created in China affects those in Canada, and pollution that enters the air in Asia also affects people living on the California coast. Air pollution is a worldwide problem that must be addressed with worldwide solutions. The Commission on Pollution and Health1 is an initiative of The Lancet, the Global Alliance on Health and Pollution and the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. A report from the Commission found:2,3
"[T]he largest contributor to pollution-related deaths is air pollution ... linked to an estimated 6.5 million deaths in 2015 as a result of diseases such as heart disease, stroke, lung cancer and COPD [chronic obstructive pulmonary disease]."
Air Pollution Linked to Poor Sperm Quality
"Particulate matter contains many toxic chemicals such as heavy metals and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, which have demonstrated harm to semen quality in laboratory and animal studies."
Next Generation's Health Affected Before Birth
"For every 10 percent reduction in PM 2.4, we can prevent 90 babies being born with low birth weight in London. The current limits are not protecting pregnant women, and they are not protecting unborn babies."
Pollution-Related Neuron Damage Affects Teen Behavior
"These tiny, toxic particles creep into your body, affecting your lungs and your heart. Studies are beginning to show exposure to various air pollutants also causes inflammation in the brain. PM2.5 is particularly harmful to developing brains because it can damage brain structure and neural networks and, as our study suggests, influence adolescent behaviors."
"Many affordable housing developments are built near freeways. Living so close to freeways causes health problems such as asthma and, perhaps, alters teenagers' brain structures so they are more likely to engage in delinquent behavior."
"If you live in an area with high air pollution, like near a freeway or in a neighborhood with little greenery, try to avoid being outside so much and keep windows closed as much as possible when the ambient PM2.5 levels are high. Try to compensate for air pollution by having a good indoor environment and healthy family dynamics.
A bad parent-child relationship causes a stressful family environment, and if this goes on for too long, the teenager could be in a chronic state of stress. This could wreak havoc on the body, making teens more vulnerable to the effects of exposure to small particles. Many scientists suspect PM2.5 causes inflammation in the brain or somehow travels directly into the brain and messes with neural network connections, resulting in the observed bad behaviors."
Global Burden of Air Pollution Is Immense
"Pollution is much more than an environmental challenge — it is a profound and pervasive threat that affects many aspects of human health and well-being. It deserves the full attention of international leaders, civil society, health professionals and people around the world.
Despite its far-reaching effects on health, the economy and the environment, pollution has been neglected in the international assistance and the global health agendas, and some control strategies have been deeply underfunded."
Lifestyle Choices May Buffer the Effects of Air Pollution
- Indoor Pollution in Your Car
- Indoor Air Pollution
- Indoor Air Quality: The Invisible Epidemic Causing Headaches, Fatigue and Depression