HomeHealthMental HealthCan Air Pollution Cause Mental Health Issues?

Can Air Pollution Cause Mental Health Issues?

Air pollution and other factors can cause or exacerbate psychological problems

Air pollution can cause irreversible damage to our bodies. Studies have long shown that it affects our lungs, cardiovascular health, general health and many other factors. However, more studies have shown that prolonged exposure to poor air quality can even affect our mental health.

The largest study of its kind has found a link between air pollution exposure and an increase in mental illness severity. The study, which involved 13,000 adults in London, found that even a modest increase in exposure to nitrogen dioxide increased the likelihood of community care by 32% and hospitalization by 18%.

The study’s conclusions likely applied to most cities in developed countries, and reducing air pollution could help millions of people. It is possible to reduce the exposure of the population to air pollution on a large scale.

We are aware that certain measures, such as the expansion of low-emission zones, are possible. Individual-level interventions for mental health are actually quite challenging. Keep in mind that the air quality index in India is also much worse than London.

According to some studies, even brief, transient exposure to air pollution can increase the likelihood of developing mental illnesses such as schizophrenia and depression, with damage beginning in childhood. According to estimates by the World Health Organization, more than 90% of children worldwide breathe air that is polluted at levels harmful to their health and development.

Since children’s brains and behaviors are still developing into late adolescence and early adulthood, air pollution, especially PM2.5, can have a disproportionately negative impact on their mental and emotional growth, as well as cognitive and behavioral outcomes.

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Based on a theory linking PM2.5 to the occurrence of mental health problems in early childhood, extreme psychological symptoms caused by exposure to air pollution are bad enough to send children to the emergency room for psychiatric treatment.

With these things in mind, it is necessary to take the necessary steps to reduce the negative impact of air pollution as much as possible. Here are some ways you can reduce the effects of air pollution on your mental health:

  • Look up local forecasts for daily air pollution. You can find out when the air quality in your area is unhealthy with color-coded forecasts.
  • Always stay away from crowded locations while exercising. Traffic on congested roads can cause high levels of pollution, even when the air quality forecast is green.
  • Pay attention to the air quality in your home, because it can also be bad for your health. Fine particles and ozone are two examples of external contaminants that can enter your home.
  • The first step to keeping the smoky air out of your home is to keep your windows closed. Filtration and circulation would come next. Use fans to move air around your home and, if possible, use filters to remove airborne debris.
  • Smoke protection is often not provided by cloth masks. You must wear an N95 mask to filter out small particles while providing smoke protection. Cloth masks generally allow fine particles to pass through.
  • Removing airborne particles can benefit from air purifiers. You can buy air purifiers that have been more thoroughly tested to remove certain particle sizes.
  • Ensure that no one is allowed to smoke indoors and encourage initiatives to make all public areas smoke-free.
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Keep these things in mind to ensure better physical and mental health.

Disclaimer: This content, including advice, provides generic information only. It is in no way a substitute for qualified medical advice. Always consult a specialist or your own doctor for more information. NDTV claims no responsibility for this information.

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