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Air Pollution Increases Risk of Suicide

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Pollutants in the air can cause a wide range of health problems, from heart arrhythmias and lung disease to digestive problems and even autism. Recent studies on the harmful “fine particulate matter” in polluted air suggest that those particles can actually be directly linked to certain mental health issues as well. Those who are regularly exposed to air pollution, such as people who live in large or smoggy cities, might even suffer from an increased risk of suicide, according to the latest science.

 

What are the Details and Dangers Fine Particulate Matter?


It is important for you to realize exactly what air pollution consists of in order for you to understand why it should be avoided at all costs. The fine particulate matter within air pollution that is responsible for an increased risk of suicide is also one of the main causes for ailments such as:

 

· Inflammation
· Asthma
· Skin disorders
· Digestive issues
· Cancer (of certain varieties)

 

The complete list of health problems associated with air pollution is rather staggering. Fine particulate matter in today’s air pollution consists of dust, industrial solvents, soot, nitrogen dioxide, and smoke – all of which can be devastating to the human body after prolonged exposure. In fact, recent studies show how just 30 minutes of exposure per day can render significant changes in a person’s overall well-being.

 

What is the Connection to Increased Risk of Suicide?


It is important to note that while air pollution increases a person’s risk of suicide it does not guarantee that the event will take place. Although modern psychologists are still trying to figure out exactly why this connection exists, air pollution and suicide attempts seems to go hand-in-hand. A study conducted by the American Psychological Association showed air pollution having clear and damaging effects on the brain. In the study, it was seen how certain fine particulate matter within air pollution acts as a cellular signal which ultimately produces inflammation in the body, which in turn changes a person’s spatial memory and behavioral patterns. This chain of events is what leads some people to attempt suicide.

 

Who is at Risk the Most?


The risk of suicide is a real concern for modern people of all ages, sexes, genders, races and religions. Each year millions of people successfully commit suicide, while thousands more attempt it. Those who are most at risk tend to live in heavily populated areas that are replete with water, sound, and air pollutants. The risk is even more prevalent for men, with 25% of reported male suicide cases being directly linked to short-term exposure to nitrogen dioxide and other fine matter particulates. It will be interesting to see what regulations are put in place to protect today’s people from such a horrible outcome.