Leave a comment

#JamesDonaldson on #MentalHealth – Air Pollution Linked To Higher Risk Of #Depression And #Suicide

Rachel Baxter
By Rachel Baxter

We know that high levels of #airpollution can have worrying impacts on our bodies, from contributing to lung and heart disease to increasing our risk of silent miscarriage. Just this week, a new inquest into the death of a 9-year-old girl who lived near a busy London road was announced – she died of a severe asthma attack in 2013 that may have been caused by #airpollution.

But it’s not just our physical health that’s affected. Previous studies have linked high levels of #airpollution to spikes in psychiatric problems among childrenpsychotic experiences, and neurological conditions like bipolar disorder. Now, a first-of-its-kind review and meta-analysis has assessed how air pollution impacts our #mentalhealth, finding that it could be causing “substantial harm”.  

Publishing their results in Environmental Health Perspectives, a team from University College London (UCL) and King’s College London assessed data from 16 countries, examining evidence of links between #airpollution and five #mentalhealth outcomes: #depression, #anxiety, bipolar, psychosis, and #suicide.

The #WorldHealthOrganization (WHO) currently recommends that people are exposed to no more than 10 micrograms of fine particulate matter – tiny particles like dust and soot – per square meter (μg/m3). However, many of us in busy cities, from New York to London to Dehli to Beijing, breathe air with pollution levels far above this safe limit.

#JamesDonaldson notes:

Welcome to the “next chapter” of my life… being a voice and an advocate for #mentalhealthawarenessandsuicideprevention, especially pertaining to our younger generation of students and student-athletes.

Getting men to speak up and reach out for help and assistance is one of my passions. Us men need to not suffer in silence or drown our sorrows in alcohol, hang out at bars and strip joints, or get involved with drug use.

Having gone through a recent bout of #depression and #suicidalthoughts myself, I realize now, that I can make a huge difference in the lives of so many by sharing my story, and by sharing various resources I come across as I work in this space.  #http://bit.ly/JamesMentalHealthArticle

In the new study, the team found that an increase of fine particulate matter, aka PM2.5, of 10μg/m3 over long periods could increase your risk of #depression by 10 percent. In Delhi, PM2.5 levels have reached 114μg/m3, potentially increasing millions of people’s chances of developing #depression.

In London, where people are exposed to 12.8μg/m3 of fine particulate matter on average, the researchers believe #depression risk could drop by 2.5 percent if pollution levels were dragged down to 10μg/m3. The team also identified a possible link between long-term exposure and risk of #anxiety.

While long-term exposure to PM2.5 could influence #depression and #anxiety, the researchers also note that short-term exposure to coarse particulate matter (PM10) – larger particles of pollution like dust and smoke – appears to impact #suicide risk. Their findings suggest that if a person is exposed to PM10 over a three-day period, their risk of #suicide could rise by 2 percent for every 10μg/m3 increase in this coarse particulate matter.    

The researchers are quick to point out that their findings don’t necessarily indicate a causal relationship between air pollution and #mentalhealth issues, just that there appears to be some sort of link. So, even if you live in a highly polluted area, you’re not destined to develop #depression or #anxiety. 

“Our findings correspond with other studies that have come out this year, with further evidence in young people and in other #mentalhealth conditions,” said senior author Dr Joseph Hayes of UCL in a statement. “While we cannot yet say that this relationship is causal, the evidence is highly suggestive that #airpollution itself increases the risk of adverse #mentalhealth outcomes.”

Noise exposure in cities is a possible confounding factor and has been linked to psychological effects, including through sleep disturbance. Green space is another confounder, given it may reduce #depression risk and improve #mentalhealth.

While much more research is needed to reveal the exact relationship between #airpollution and our #mentalhealth, the findings add to a mounting pile of evidence that suggests dirty air is not good for us. Lawmakers have the power to curb #airpollution to protect the public’s health and wellbeing. Unfortunately, policies to tackle #airpollution often just aren’t drastic enough.

“A lot of what we can do to reduce #airpollution can also benefit our #mentalhealth in other ways, such as enabling people to cycle or walk rather than drive, and enhancing access to parks, so this adds support to the promotion of active travel and urban green spaces,” said Hayes.

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s


Mental health, beauty, lifestyle, books

CW Seattle

Home Of CW11

Park Preview

A guide to Seattle area parks with an emphasis on accessibility, photography, and birds.

Self Care & Mental Health

Know Your Worth; Own Your Life

Damon Ashworth Psychology

Melbourne Clinical Psychologist

Blind Injustice

Injustices we may not be aware of

西雅图中文电台 Chinese Radio Seattle

AM 1150, HD-3 FM 98.9, 手机收听:Chinese Radio Seattle | 西雅图中文电台, 周五到周日每晚7点到12点,周一到周四每晚9点到12点, 微博/Facebook: ChineseRadioSeattle, WeChat: SeattleToday/SeattleChineseRadio

acadia creative - designwise

Useful tips and tricks on design and marketing for your business


Just another WordPress.com site


Smile! You’re at the best WordPress.com site ever


Simply Sharing.... Reality Check

Dan Weedin

Advisory/Risk Strategy/Insurance

Official Reuven Carlyle Blog

State Senator from Washington's 36th Legislative District

An Urban Sip Wine Blog

Wine Paired with Life...Think Liquid Nudist Camp

Mike Margolies- The Mental Game

How Sport Psychology Explains the World

Mywritingmentor's Weblog

Book Reviews and Book Coaching News

%d bloggers like this: