Just A Thought
Pollution (air, water, soil, chemical, etc) have been responsible for poor health and deaths in approximately 9 million people across the globe, of which air pollution results in a whopping 6.7 million deaths. The risks of air pollution to the human brain and nervous system have been a point of contention in medical conferences and societies in the developed world. It has been recognized as a global health issue. The existing risk and affects of the air pollution in health status and death is expected to double in the coming decades and exponentially compared to that caused by other types of pollution. And the major burden of these adverse effects on human nervous system is expected to be higher in the developing countries compared to the developed world.
There are studies that link air pollution to two of the most common and most severe nervous system disorders - stroke (lakwa/paralysis) and dementia (forgetfulness). And these increase the disability in any given population affecting the economical burden of any nation. Air pollution is different from other causes of pollution like soil pollution etc. Air pollution affects the population at large, irrespective of the social and economical strata. The exposure to the pollutant may be mild, moderate or severe but is invariably present across the entire human society. The components of air pollution include deleterious particulate matter and gases such as nitrogen dioxide and ozone (and yes ozone is a pollutant when it is not in the ozone layer). These cause inflammation and oxidative stress to the vascular system of the nervous system. The longer the duration of exposure to the air pollution, the higher is the risk of developing these neurological disorders.
Pollution control remains the most effective way of avoiding these negative effects of air pollution on the nervous system. Therefore the attention needed to curb these negative effects caused by air pollution is high. Implementation of policies that seek to improve air pollution should be supported and reinforced.
Dr Saumya Mittal. MBBS, MD (Medicine), CC (Diabetes Mellitus), DNB (Neurology) more