New Delhi, November 14– A study by a team of researchers from Colorado State University and the University of Minnesota has claimed that air pollution and violence could be related to each other. The study shows that exposure to higher levels of particulate matter and ozone could lead to rise in violent activities.
The study uncovers a new, immediate risk factor associated with a problem Earlier,pollution has been linked to problems related to life expectancy, and now the new finding indicates that the risk factor of people becoming more aggressive imminent.
For the research, crime and environment data from 397 counties, or 28.3% of the population in the United States between 2006 and 2013, was analyzed.
“The results suggest that changes in PM2.5 and ozone have significant acute effects on violent crimes with a particular emphasis on assaults. Assaults include physical attacks, which is likely indicative of impulsive and aggressive behavior,” said the report published in the Journal of Environmental Economics and Management on September 30 according to a report in Hindustan Times.
Speaking to Healthwire on the issue, Dr. Ankur Sachdeva, Assistant Professor, Psychiatry, ESIC Medical College and Hospital, Faridabad, said, “There are two kinds of exposures to pollution-acute exposures and chronic exposures. Acute exposure is for a day to a few hours having a short term impact but irritable mood due it pollution is bound to happen. However, chronic exposure to pollution can have a long term impact on our mental health,” he said.
“Pollutants in the air enter our nerves through our respiration process. Harmful particles can get into our blood stream and reach out brains. So it irritates your nerves, it releases some chemicals like neurotransmitters which can severely affect your mental health,” he shared.
“So there have been many studies which tells us about the damage pollutants in the air can do to people. Like in children, it can affect how they how think and behave. In adults, it is hypothesized that it can predispose you to developing depression or even schizophrenia. It means that pollution itself cannot cause change a person’s behaviour but but if coupled with other factors like genetic condition or any other ongoing medical condition then a person may experience some major change in the way one reacts or behaves,” he explained.