Air Pollution Is Damaging Our Mental Health


A new study shows that higher particulates in the air can affect our brains and cause mental disorders. Psychologists agree to this. The effects of air pollution are severe that it can destroy our lungs and damage our cardiovascular health. It is already a given fact. This effect on our brain health is a discovery.

Air Quality And Quality Of Life

Your home and where you live can significantly affect your physical and psychological well-being. Where you live can determine your health because there can be the availability of fresh food, access to nature, and the safety of your neighborhood. “The brains of children and teens are still growing and developing, notes Lise Van Susteren, a psychologist in Washington, D.C. “Those growing brains make young people “particularly vulnerable to environmental stressors,” she adds. 

Clinical psychologist Oumar Konare also has this to say: “Our profligate use of the Planet is backfiring on us psychologically as if we had a latent need to empathize with Earth’s condition as if it were a person. Others even dare speak of a “Nature Deficit Disorder” in children.”

Air pollution has been linked to psychological distress because people might not want to go out and live a sedentary life, affecting their social skills that can lead to distress and isolation.

People can quickly inhale small particulates such as substances produced by car engines, fireplaces, and wood stoves and power plants powered by gas and coal. Small particulates can enter the bloodstream and are considered higher risk than large particulates.

Researchers had people participate in a study where they expose them to small particulates. They then have them surveyed and have found out that the exposure of participants gauged feelings of nervousness, sadness, and hopelessness and was shockingly on the scale of people with psychological distress.

Researchers have also linked the higher amount of air particulate in an area that shows a greater risk of people having psychological distress. Also, for every increase in pollution of 5 micrograms per cubic meter had the same effects of losing 1.5 years of education.


Breaking Down The Numbers

The impact of air pollution on mental health among populations merely is beyond the scope of the study. It has dramatically affected everyone, and some communities have more impact than others. The research found that black Americans is affected by psychological distress due to air pollution 39 percent more than white men and 55 percent more than Latinos.

This issue can be easily mitigated, but somehow is being neglected and declined in the United States. This is an unnecessary burden to the people and society, and even small levels can significantly affect our overall health.

We might not notice the pollution around us, but it’s slowly affecting not just our physical health, but also our mental health. Close-minded people are still not taking a stand to eliminate these problems. Joachim I Krueger Ph.D., wrote, “A final barrier is the lack of psychological engagement. Some people may understand the perceptual, cognitive, and interventional issues, but simply don’t care. Pollution, be it local or global, may simply not connect with the way they see themselves.”

These problems are caused by our modernization and trying to reduce air pollution is like trying to stop living comfortably, but what we don’t know is that we don’t have much time left if we don’t address these problems and find solutions to make the world a cleaner and healthier environment to live in again.

A few populations are mentioned above, and some might think that there are safe, but air pollution can be found worldwide. Think of our children who also breathe the same air we breathe and what diseases they can develop because of this. Think about the environment and how it is slowly dying because of our negligence and the fact that we do not see the consequences of our actions. How many more years until the air is unbreathable? Where will we live? Is this how you want your children and grandchildren to live? This can be many, many years from now, but it’s not impossible.


How To Make A Difference

A lot of organizations are focused on healing our planet. These organizations provide simple measures that ordinary people like us can do. All we need to do is support their cause and do our part in helping our planet be healthy again.

Many of us have been educated about air pollution and given some tips on how to avoid adding to it. These efforts can be simple or as complicated as they can get. Sacrificing a little bit of comfort and finding alternative ways to help our planet can be done at home. Teaching your children how they can be a part of this will inspire them to teach other kids and help spread awareness about air pollution.

As simple as walking or using a bike rather than driving your car to go to a nearby place is a big help. Carpooling or commuting is another thing you could do to lessen air pollution. Educating yourself and the people around you will make them see how serious this issue can be and how it has dramatically affected everyone without anyone realizing.

Research and do your part in your community so your children and their children could have the same experience we had when we were kids, and the planet was not this polluted. Let this be an inspiration for you to make a change. One person can influence another until everyone around the world does their part to save our planet.

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