Jun 19, 2019 | Updated: 09:31 AM EDT

Air Pollution Linked To Mental Health Problems Among Teens

Apr 02, 2019 09:30 PM EDT

Mental Health
(Photo : https://pixabay.com/photos/mental-health-wellness-psychology-2019924/)

Air pollution has greatly affected many lives. A lot of animals die due to the harsh effects of air pollution in their bodily system as well as in their habitat. It causes people to develop respiratory diseases. If left untreated, it could lead to deaths. However, recent studies show that psychotic experiences among teens could also be due to air pollution.

The study was conducted in England and Wales. It included 2,000 respondents, all 17 years old. It shows that those teens who live in an area where higher levels of nitrogen have been reported have a higher chance of showing early symptoms of mental health problems including paranoia and anxiety.

People who grow up in crowded cities are already known to have psychotic episodes and experiences than those who live outside the urban regions. New studies, however, show that such episodes may be due to the presence of toxic chemicals in the air. And yet, the study continues to look for causal link and other factors also need to be considered. The noise in the environment could also be linked as one.

Psychotic experiences are also considered more common among adolescents than in adults. However, those who have experienced early symptoms of such mental health concerns are more likely to develop them as they grow older. With the population of people living in the city growing rapidly each year, scientists could not help but be more wary of the mental health status of these individuals. More importantly, this has fueled their desire to uncover all the possible reasons for people in the cities to become more mentally ill.

The study also looks into other possible reasons that could lead to various psychotic experiences. Smoking, drinking alcohol and using cannabis are all considered as factors that contribute to a person's likelihood of suffering from mental health concerns. Family income, as well as the family history of psychotic breakdowns, were also used to measure a person's risk of developing a mental health problem.

"There seems to be a great link between people suffering from psychotic episodes and their exposure to air pollution," said Prof. Frank Kelly of the King's College in London. "Young people, especially the children, are very vulnerable to the harsh effects of air pollution owing this to the fact that their brain and respiratory system are still juvenile."

The results of the studies conducted show alarming results linking air pollution to psychotic breakdowns among young people. However, policymakers are not addressing such problems in mental health with a sense of urgency.

Reducing air pollution is possible, but it is not something that only one person can do. It has to be an effort of the entire population, all over the world, to ensure that everyone's risk of suffering from mental health concerns are reduced dramatically.

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