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Ambient Air Pollution Triggering Mental Health Issues among Children

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Published on : Sep 26, 2019

Globally, air quality is deteriorating significantly due to increasing pollutants that are released from industries, vehicles, and other electronic products. In few regions, air is extremely polluted and harmful, and is responsible for creating various diseases and health issues among people. A number of studies have been conducted to understand the impact of air pollution and how to resolve this issue. Having said that, a recent research in which air pollution is correlated with mental health issues in children is gaining attention. This research reveals how short-term exposure to surrounding air pollution can increase psychiatric disorders in children within few days.

Anxiety and Depression Booming at an Early Age

Researchers at the University of Cincinnati along with scientists at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center collaborated to highlight the relation between mental health in children and air pollution. Increased children utilization of Cincinnati Children's emergency department for psychiatric issues drew their attention. Besides, the study also reveals that children from deprived neighborhoods are likely to get affected by air pollution more.  In these children, disorders such as suicidality and anxiety is estimated to be high as compared to other children.

This research is the first of its kind, where high air pollution is tied with high symptoms of psychiatric disorders. However, more research is required that will support analysis of this study. This could also help in developing new preventive strategies for children having symptoms related to psychiatric disorder.

There are few other research studies as well that shows correlation between air pollution and children’s mental health. All these research are moving towards a similar conclusion wherein exposure to air pollution early in life or during childhood results in developing anxiety and depression. Moreover, chances of mental health problems in adolescence are also high. But there is place for more research to understand underlying mechanisms for these associations.