Link Found Between Freeway Air Pollution and Brain Damage
A study conducted by the University of Southern California added brain damage to the list of health conditions brought about by air pollution from vehicles on the freeways in Southern California.
A feature on the Los Angeles Times shared that in addition to respiratory disease, heart attacks, cancer, and premature death, freeway air pollution may cause brain damage. Air pollution is a combination of soot, pavement dust, and other toxic substances.
The study, which appeared in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives, determined that exposure to pollution particles that were roughly a thousandth of the width of a strand of human hair is linked to brain damage in mice. Brain damage in the mice included signs associated with memory loss and Alzheimer’s disease.
Senior author Caleb Finch, an expert on the effects of inflammation and holder of USC’s ARCO/William F. Kieschnick Chair in the Neurobiology of Aging, shared the following comment via a statement: “You can’t see them, but they are inhaled and have an effect on brain neurons that raises the possibility of long-term brain health consequences of freeway air.”
While the study only observed impact on mice, lead author Todd Morgan, a research professor in gerontology at USC, shared: “Our data would suggest that freeway pollution could have a profound effect on the development of neurons and brain health in children and young kids, especially those who attend schools built alongside freeways. So limiting one’s exposure – especially children’s exposure – to freeway pollution is essential to control asthma, cardiovascular conditions and cognitive development.”air pollution, air pollution brain damage, air pollution disease, air pollution health risks