Potential links between pollution and mental health are a serious issue, said Dr Cybele Dey, a child and adolescent psychiatrist and member of Doctors for the Environment Australia, in the Washington Post.
The Post reported on a major UK study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association Psychiatry, which linked long-term exposure to even low levels of air pollution to increased incidence of depression and anxiety.
Dr Dey said there has been consistent evidence linking air pollution to problems with learning, attention and focus.
Air pollution has also been associated with lower birthweights, premature births, heart disease, lung disease, shorter life spans and a number of other factors that could adversely affect mental health, she said.
Said Dr Dey that it’s really important for governments to be aware of the adverse impacts, and of the benefits that protecting people from exposure to excessive pollution would have on health. Transitioning from fossil fuels would be a major step forward.
Read the full story in the Washington Post on 2 February 2023
Image credit: Moritz Böing, Pexels