Can air pollution affect mentalhealth?

Air Pollution and Depression

A growing body of research suggests that air pollution can inflict some of the earliest and most long-lasting damage on our cognitive and mental health

This adds a new layer of complexity into an area of research that’s relevant to over 300 million people worldwide who experience a mental health condition like depression – a number that’s grown in the last decade by at least 18% (or 54 million more people).1,2

The sheer amount of research supporting this notion is overwhelming – and we’re here to help you sort through it.

Here’s what’s on the horizon when it comes to establishing a link between air pollution and mental health, including:

  • which pollutants may be most toxic to mental health, from both direct and short-term exposure as well as long-term exposure

  • how air pollution may impact children and adults differently, especially in relation to mental and emotional development

  • what you can do to protect yourself, your children, and those around you from the effects of air pollution on your mental health

How does air pollution affect mental health?

Let’s get right into it – research is starting to make a pretty good case that air pollution has a direct effect on your mental health. 

Some studies show that even brief, temporary air pollution exposure may cause debilitating mental health conditions like depression and schizophrenia. And the damage can start as early as childhood.

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