The impacts of air pollution on mental health have been well documented over the past few years. In fact, we’ve even discussed various impacts of air pollution, such as PM2.5, on mental health in this blog. However, a recent study has highlighted the striking impact that PM2.5 emitted from busy roads can have on your mental health.
The study, which was carried out in Boston, found that living near busy roads can have a strong impact on mental health issues such as depression. Correlations were found with various pollutants, including PM2.5, ozone, and NO2 - with PM2.5 and NO2 generally having increased concentrations near busy roads.
The study focused on participants over the age of 64, but other research has indicated these results are not restricted to this age group. All three monitored pollutants increased the risk of depression and late-life mental disorders. Other studies have also highlighted the increased risk of dementia from exposure to air pollution.
While this study might not highlight a new issue, it emphasises the need for more awareness of air pollution, its hotspots, and its health impacts. While we don’t all have the ability to choose where we live, it also shows the importance of taking measures to clean the air if you live near a busy road or other air pollution hotspot.