Recent research by University College London scientists suggests that eliminating toxic air can prevent depression in millions of people. People living in an environment with polluted air have higher rates of depression and suicide.
Reducing air pollution around the world to EU limits could prevent depression in millions of people, according to research. Scientists assume that toxic air probably contributes directly to this disease in humans, but it is difficult to prove this beyond any doubt.
The pollution taken into account in the study arises from the burning of fuels by cars, people to heat their homes and in industry. Scientists say that the new evidence should further strengthen the message of the World Health Organization, which is warning about “a silent public health emergency”. “We have shown that air pollution can pose a significant threat to our public health, which makes the need to clean the air we breathe even more urgent,” said Isobel Braithwaite of University College London (UCL), who led the study. In her opinion, limiting pollution to the limits proposed by the European Union can prevent about 15 percent. depression in people, “assuming there is a causal relationship”. She added that according to the WHO, more than 164 million people suffer from depression.
Polluted air and depression
– We know that the smallest particles from dirty air can enter our brain through both the blood and the nose. These pollutants have been linked to an increase in encephalitis, nerve cell damage and changes in the production of stress hormones, which in turn impact our mental health, Braithwaite added.
“The evidence is highly suggestive – air pollution itself increases the risk of adverse effects on our mental health,” added fellow UCL scientist Joseph Hayes.
Other studies published this year show that air pollution can damage every organ and virtually every cell in the human body. It causes too “huge” decreased intelligence and is associated with dementia.