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Here Is How You Can Fight Air Pollution

A new study finds that exposure to air pollution may be associated with an increased risk of developing bipolar disorder and depression.

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Updated:August 22, 2019, 5:40 PM IST
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Here Is How You Can Fight Air Pollution
Apartment complexes are seen shrouded by fine dust during a polluted day in Seoul, South Korea. (Image: Reuters)

A new study, conducted by researchers at the University of Chicago, now finds that exposure to air pollution may be associated with an increased risk of developing bipolar disorder and depression. Researchers have suggested a significant link between exposure to environmental pollution and an increase in the prevalence of neuropsychiatric disorders, in the study published in the journal PLoS Biology.

The lead author of the study, Atif Khan said that the study conducted in US and Denmark have concluded that living in polluted areas, especially early in life, could be predictive of mental disorders. Notably, air pollution continues to be a major cause of worry with countries having the worst air quality having a 27 percent increase in bipolar disorder and six percent increase in major depression.

Notably, one can follow certain tips to reduce air pollution. These include:

Conserve energy at home and at work. Decreasing energy need not only saves money at the end of the month, but benefits health in the long-term.

Use carpool or public transportation, or ride a bicycle or walk whenever possible. Road transportation is one of the biggest emitters of nitrogen oxides. Oxides of nitrogen are closely monitored air pollutants with an adverse effect on the healthy lung development and the overall lifetime expectancy.

Recycle or buy recycled products. It takes a lot more energy to make new items from raw materials, which in turn increases environmental footprint of those products when compared to products made from recycled materials.

Eat local, organic food and consume less protein. Notably, agricultural pesticides and fertilizers release Organic Pollutants, which can be detrimental for health. According to a study by Earth Institute of Columbia University, when pollutants combine together, they form fine particles that easily damage the respiratory system.

Plant trees as they not only remove particulate matter, but also decrease levels of nitrogen dioxide, sulphur dioxide, carbon dioxide and monoxide from the air.

Apart from these, do not smoke. Furthermore, using environmentally safe paints and cleaning products whenever possible is also advised. Also, keeping air purifying indoor plants that metabolise air pollutants in indoor spaces as well as refresh air by removing carbon dioxide could be a good idea. Snake plants, peace lilies or bamboo plants could be good options.

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