Air pollution can be controlled and cleaning up the air has shown to have benefits in previous studies as well. The quality of the air is also linked to birth weights, mental health, physical well being, and beyond.
We’ve all heard about clogged highways, cases of road rage, and large amounts of CO2 emissions, but scientists just did a study on yet another aspect of traffic. It turns out that the environmental and psychological stresses are not the only effects that cars are having on us. Recently scientists asked the big question, how does traffic affect the brain?
There are over 250 million cars in the United States and about a billion totals on Earth. They range from brand new eco-friendly models to outdated clunkers that spit out tons of noise and fumes.
In a recent study scientists looked at urban areas where traffic congestion is a frequent problem. This study involves seeing what those fumes are doing to our most valuable possession, our brains.
Researchers studied the brains of individuals that lived in Mexico City and in Manchester, UK. both are urban areas with heavy traffic. Using electron microscope scientists were able to get a much closer look at the front portion of these brains. Very smooth and rounded iron magnetite particles were observed upon taking this closer look. Iron particles do absolutely occur naturally in the body, but the difference here is in shape and form. The naturally occurring ones tend to have a chaotic appearance or an irregular shape.
After using the microscope these scientists observed smooth rounded circular magnetite particles, which happen when burning iron at extremely high temperatures like when fuel is burned. Surprisingly these brains not only had iron particles, but some even had platinum, from parts of the car engine that are foreign to the human body.
The brain is very important and need not be in anyway harmed. Lucky for us there are a lot of people all around the world working on curbing air pollution. There are many ways for the average concerned citizen to get involved as well. Encouraging more bike zones, buying cleaner cars, using more mass transit, and retrofitting older vehicles to be up to modern standards are just a few ways to take action.
There are a lot of way to help in cleaning our air, you can take a look for options online and see ways you can help in cleaning up our planet’s air.
As research and technology moves forward on these topics we’ll start to see a greater series of actions to further enact public health and safety. However, we all still have the ability to make a difference.