The data is piling up. Hundreds of research studies have evaluated the effect of air pollution on everything from autism, preterm labor, asthma, dementia, strokes, heart attacks, cancer and much more. The evidence is overwhelming and growing: air pollution is harmful to our health.
In not only children but adults as well; anxiety, ADHD, depression are more frequent in those exposed to higher air pollution. The pollution particles enter the brain and cause inflammation much like they do in other parts of the body (5a, 5b, 5c).
Intrauterine inflammation leads to preterm labor, miscarriages and increased risk of lifelong neurologic and respiratory disorders as shown in several studies (14, 15).
Much like autism, ADHD, and other mental health disorders appear more common in children whose mothers were exposed to high levels of air pollution (16) (17).
Children born to mothers exposed to higher levels of air pollution appear to score lower IQ scores later in life (18).
Strokes, heart attacks, and shortened life span were some of the earliest recognized problems from air pollution (19). The studies on them are too numerous to list. But just a sampling of studies reveals that air pollution narrows arteries that lead to stroke (20, 21). If you would like a more complete list of studies on this, contact us.
Just like strokes, heart attacks were some of the earliest recognized outcomes from air pollution. Air pollution causes inflammation and atherosclerosis in arteries (22), raises blood pressure (23) and this leads to heart attacks. The effects are seen with long term exposure (24) and even short term exposure can cause susceptible individuals to have heart attacks (25, 26, 27) on bad air days. For a more complete list, contact us.
Air pollution is clearly linked to lung cancer (28). In fact, lung cancer amongst non smokers is more common in those exposed to higher levels of air pollution (29). There are other causes for lung cancer in non smokers but air pollution clearly increases risk. Many other cancers appear to increase with exposure to bad air days. In fact, breast cancer (30) and every other type of cancer is increased with higher levels of air pollution (31).
Like in children, the risk of diabetes is increased in adults who are exposed to higher levels of air pollution (37, 38).
Dementia seems to be worse and progress faster when there is more air pollution (39, 40). Dementia is a very expensive illness due to the care required as it progresses. So any delaying or prevention of this illness adds not just quality of life years but puts less stress on our healthcare system.