Delhi-NCR air pollution: expert on how toxic air can affect our mental health | Health

Air pollution can be harmful to almost all parts of our body. Numerous studies have shown how toxic pollutants enter the lungs through the nose or mouth and cause breathing problems, while prolonged exposure to pollutants can damage blood vessels in the kidneys, causing them to stop working properly. The impact of air pollution on the heart is also being investigated and it has been shown that exposure to particulate matter and nitrogen oxides can prematurely age blood vessels and contribute to a faster build-up of calcium in the coronary artery, leading to heart disease. Several studies have now shown that in addition to physical health, air pollution is also harmful to our brains and mental health, thus giving rise to various psychiatric disorders.


“Air pollution is closely linked to depression and anxiety and the literature is not very old. Over the past decade, researchers have found high levels of air pollution that can impair a child’s cognitive skills, increase an adult’s risk of cognitive decline and potentially Even though it is clear that no mental illness can be attributed to environmental exposure alone, the studies emerging today add to the growing evidence that air pollution is toxic to our human brain and may interact with our genetic and biological factors. on different levels. The impact and type of effects if and when some people develop mental disorders and how severe these disorders become,” said Mehezabin Dordi, Clinical Psychologist, Rehabilitation and Sports Medicine, Sir HN Reliance Foundation Hospital.

A large-scale study in 2019 said that high levels of air pollution are closely linked to psychiatric illness and that people exposed to high levels of pollution are likely to suffer from psychiatric conditions such as depression, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and even personality disorder.


“There is mounting evidence that these toxins also affect the brain and are linked to various diseases of the central nervous system. Air pollution can also interfere with the ideal functioning of the brain, ultimately leading to disruption and death of neurons that are the brain cells and neurotransmitters which are the chemicals the brain produces,” Dordi says.

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