Everyone knows the common health effects of air pollution. It can easily exacerbate respiratory conditions like asthma. What most people don’t know is the fact that there is a direct link between air pollution and brain conditions like autism and ADD. There is also the fact that you expose yourself to harmful air contaminants at intersections 29x more than you do on the open road. These facts are not in any way meant to startle you but to remind you how dangerous air pollution is. They are also meant to encourage you to take appropriate measures to protect yourself and your loved ones.
So how exactly does air pollution affect brain development and overall human health? Read on to find out. You can also check out this guide here to see our guide to top rated air masks!
Experts state that exposure to air pollution is dangerous regardless of the stage or trimester of pregnancy. In the first trimester for instance, exposure can lead to stillbirths, miscarriages or significant birth defects. In the second trimester, the greatest risk has everything to do with neurological changes like autism. Behavioral and developmental changes occur during the third trimester. All these effects happen because during pregnancy, minute particulate matter can easily pass through the placenta and reach the fetus. The particles then build up in the brain with time. In severe cases, the buildup can be extremely immense and lead to structural changes associated with developmental delays.
Slow cognition in children
Studies reveal that children who attend school in polluted areas show slower cognition than children who attend school in less polluted areas. This is of course a worrying trend given that there is seemingly nothing parents can do to lessen effects of air pollution in industrialized cities. Research also reveals slower cognitive development in children whose parents smoke in their presence.
Autism and related disorders have been on the rise for the last ten years. Research suggests that air pollution has a contributing factor. Two factors are evident here. There is a direct link between frequent exposure to toxic gas or metals and autism. There is also a direct link between pregnant women who live in polluted cities who report autism and related disorders in newborns.
There are several asthma triggers apart from air pollution. They include exposure to pollen, animal danger and dust mites. It is however impossible to dispute the fact that air pollution is one of the main asthma triggers today. Well documented research has proved time and again that the number of people who get diagnosed with asthma is on the increase in areas that are heavily polluted.
Exposure to air pollution has been proven to lead to low sperm count in men. Another startling factor is the fact that men who live in polluted areas are more likely to have female chromosomes. This can be attributed to what experts refer to as gender bender particulate matter found in polluted areas. There is also the fact that heavily polluted cities now record more girl babies born than boys.