For most people, it’s easy to see how air pollution can have a negative impact on respiratory health. After all, it is inhaled into the lungs and through the passageways of the respiratory system; also, anyone who’s ever been in the midst of a lot of smoke – like a bonfire – knows how it can make you cough and splutter. Indeed, the impact that air pollution has on the lungs and on breathing is apparent, but a couple of new studies show a tentative link between pollution and reduced brain performance that is sure to surprise you.
New Information about Pollution and the Human Brain
Hundreds of studies have delved into the effects of air pollution and the respiratory system; far fewer have taken closer looks at the relationship between pollution and the brain. That is beginning to change, though, as several highly respected research groups are examining the ways that air pollution may affect the human brain. Two of the most recent studies – one by the Columbia Center for Children’s Environmental Health, and the other by a joint effort between the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and Harvard University – present some truly eye-opening information.
The Columbia Study
In the Columbia Center for Children’s Environmental Health study, which was authored by epidemiologist and director Frederica Perera, New York City five-year-olds were the subject of the research in question. The study found that five-year-olds who had been exposed to higher than usual levels of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, or PAH, while still in utero had IQ levels four points lower than those who weren’t exposed to such elevated levels of PAH. The study was conducted by having expectant mothers wear air monitors during their pregnancies, and IQ tests were administered to the children around age five.
The Harvard/UNC-Chapel Hill Study
If news that PAH may play a role in lowered IQs in children isn’t revelatory enough, the joint study by Harvard University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill may be. This 2008 study took a look at a group of people aged twenty to fifty years and found connections between elevated levels of ozone and reduced attention spans, slower reaction times and compromised short term memories. With this study, it is apparent that air pollution’s effects on the brain strike people of all ages and at all levels of development.
What the Studies Mean
Based on these two recent studies – and on several others that are constantly being conducted – it is plain to see that a link of some sort does exist between elevated levels of air pollution and impaired brain function. The Columbia study, in particular, should concern parents-to-be who want to give their children the best start on life possible. Escaping to the country from the smog-filled city, though, really isn’t good enough. Indoor air quality is a major concern, and since most of us spend the majority of our time inside our homes it’s safe to say that it plays a major role in the pollutants that we breathe.
What You Can Do
On a broad scale, it’s apparent that much more needs to be done about levels of exhaust and traffic-related pollution. However, it’s possible to take a proactive approach by making a few key changes in your own life.
Staying indoors on especially smoggy days is one great tip. Keeping an eye on Air Quality Levels that are published by local watch groups is another smart way to stay on top of things. However, keeping the indoor air quality of your home as high as possible is imperative – and air cleaners can help.
HEPA Air Purifiers For Mitigating The Effects Of Air Pollution
HEPA air purifiers remove up to 99.97% of airborne particulates from the air in your home; they help with sinus, allergy, and asthma relief and can help protect your respiratory system from harm. Since these recent studies suggest a link between lowered brain functioning and air pollution, it’s possible that using a HEPA based air purifier can lessen the chances of incurring such damages yourself.
If you’re interested in using topnotch HEPA air purifiers in your home, you can rely on the experienced and exceptional services of Renaud Air. In turn, you can reduce the chances of exposing yourself and your loved ones to harmful airborne particulates and air pollution that might compromise the health of your brain and your body.
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