Air Pollution Found to Affect Developing Brains of Children

While many thing air pollution is only bad for the environment, it is also bad for human health. The current studies show that air pollution reduces our immunity to air pollutants, thus breaking down the human immune system.

A recent study in the journal Environmental Research Letters analyzed a group of air pollutants in a part of the UK that has experienced low air quality. They found that the air pollution there was experienced in the city of Birmingham was linked to hurts the immune system in young children.

Air pollution is a type of airborne particulate matter. It can be found in the air in urban areas as well as in the air coming out of the air in automobile exhaust. While it can cause blatant symptoms such as irritation to eyes, nose, and lungs. But it also cause more longterm affects such permanent diseases of the lungs and increased the chance of getting cancer.

Some studies have even found that air pollution can harm brain development in children. One study analyzed data from air pollution monitoring programs, which recorded air quality in Birmingham, Manchester, and Liverpool. The study found that the air pollution experienced by the young children in the study was in fact, significantly associated with brain development. The brain centers of attention, executive functions, and memory are in the area of sensory and affective processing.

The study used a population-based cohort study in which the children and their mothers were surveyed during the fetal life of 537 children. The air pollution monitoring programs recorded the air pollution levels by monitoring stations in the area.

The results showed that higher air pollution levels was associated with a thinner brain cortex, which is associated with difficulties with inhibitory control and self-control. 

The brain imaging done by the researchers showed that the thickness of the brain cortex of the two brain regions is in fact, significantly associated with fine particles exposure.

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