Connection between air quality and mental health is a considerable trending topic with the development of the industrial era which has proportionally risen in time.
Although there are a number of physical illnesses caused by air pollution most of the time, people are least concerned about its mental impact in general.
In this article, we are trying to point out its seriousness and what can we manage to do about this connection between air quality and mental health.
Table of Contents
Understanding Air Quality
Air quality measures a measurement of the quality of the atmosphere. Which mean the level of harmful substances to human and the entire ecosystem.
Pollutants can come from a variety of sources, such as factories, vehicles, and natural sources like wildfires.
The most common pollutants include particulate matter(PM), nitrogen oxides (NOX), sulfur dioxide (SO2), and ozone.
Normal particle matter is known as the fine particle generated mostly in industrial emission or construction processes.
Which can lightly roar around the atmosphere. NOX and SO2 are normally formed in the internal engine fossil fuel combustion. Ozone gases are formed when air pollutants like NOX expose to sunlight.
Connection Between Air Quality and Mental Health
Recent studies have pointed out that, air pollution is a serious issue that should be a concern and there is a number of both physical and mental side effects from it.
In general, most types of mental disorders like anxiety and depression can easily get worse when are is a higher level of air pollution present near your neighborhood.
Some research shows when you are often exposed to particulate matter or NOX gases, there will be some inflammation in your brain. Other than physical inconveniences these situations can easily lead to mental disorders with time.
Mental Conditions Get Worse by Bad Air Quality
Anxiety can cause by a number of issues and air pollution is one reason that nobody often considers. When you are often exposed to air pollutants like particulate matter and NOX, your anxiety level can be raised.
Especially if you are living nearby road traffic common areas which show a clear connection between air quality and mental health.
Depression is one of the common medical conditions often notices around the world.
Did you know some research has pointed out that people who often live near air-polluted areas often show depression symptoms compared with normal people? Especially for women.
A higher level of stress level can be often noticed when you dealing with a heavy workload.
As mentioned previously, NOX and particulate matter are also the reasons for the higher stress level. If you often get stressed even without any pressure or workload, your air quality needs to check.
There surely might be a connection between air quality and your mental health of yours.
4. Neurodegenerative Disorders
Neurodegenerative disorders like Alzheimer’s disease also have a clear connection with bad air quality.
When you are living in or often face vehicle exhaust smoke which has air pollutants like there is a higher probability of getting these mental disorders.
Tips to Improve Air Quality for Better Mental Health
Improving air quality can help promote better mental health.
The following tips may help to do something about your connection between air quality and mental health.
1. Use an Air Purifier
The installation of air purifiers is one of the practical methods of cleaning indoor areas. They are commonly used in bedrooms, office areas, and even in cars.
Typical HEPA filter air purifiers can filter out air particles as small as 0.3-micron level.
Most of them are quite good solutions for indoor respiratory medical conditions like allergies and asthma. But they are good solutions to air pollution’s impact on your mental health conditions.
2. Place a Humidifier
Normally humidifiers are used for increasing the humidity in indoor areas. Most of them are used as a relaxation technique and a good mental claiming way in a stressful day.
They release moisture into the atmosphere after boiling up and most of them include essential oil to create a pleasant environment.
For most respiratory system-based medical conditions, the usage of a humidifier is a good relaxation technique.
3. Plant Indoor Trees and Shrubs
Indoor plants were an old technique for purifying indoor areas which remove toxic air pollutants more effectively.
A few of them can be identified:
- Spider plant
- Snake plant
- English ivy
- Bamboo plant
Other than supporting your mental health by creating better air quality surrounding, plants and shrubs green, live color is a good mind-calming visual to the eye.
4. Regularly Clean Indoor Areas
Regular clean-up is essential for better air quality in indoor areas. Compared with outside places, indoors have higher air pollution levels in general due to they being closed to the outside.
You can do typical vacuuming, and brushing the floors. But other than that make sure to give attention to the small reason which makes indoors more dirty and smelly.
You can manage indoor ventilation by properly exhausting kitchen smoke, Removing food leftovers, or the clean the dirty laundry to have your indoor more pleasant smell. By doing small things you can easily help your mental condition.
5. Don’t Smoke
According to CDC reports, there are over 42 million US citizen smoking, and most of them are addicted to it as a habit. Cigarette smoke contains more than 7000 chemicals which are quite harmful to the human body.
If you are the only smoker in your family, with our concern all your family members or close one become secondhand smokers, which is a more serious health concern than normal smoking.
Due to smoking as a habit attached to neurotransmitters and human hormones operation, it direct becomes a reason to break down the mental condition other than air pollution.
Q: How can we know, the existence of any poor air quality?
A: Poor air quality can cause a number of symptoms, including :
- Shortness of breath
- Chest tightness
- Fatigue. etc
Q: What are the most commonly identified air pollutants on the list
A: The most common air pollutants include:
- Particulate matter (PM2.5/10)
- Nitrogen oxides (NOX)
- Sulfur dioxide(SO2)
- Carbon monoxide(CO)
Q: Is there any connection between air pollution and mental health?
A: Yes. most air pollution directly impacts the operation of the brain which leads to a number of mental health disorders like stress, anxiety, depression, and neurodegenerative disorders.
Q: Can we manage mental health by improving air quality?
A: Air quality is not the only reason when you having a hard time with mental health. But if you are living in a more air polluted in general, leading to better air quality is a relief.
Air quality is a good reason for most of the physical reasons and several of the mental inconveniences. There are a number of findings already pointed out there is a clear connection between air pollution and mental health.
Although there are several reasons that can cause these disorders, in general people who live in a better air quality neighborhood have lower mental problems.
By following several guidelines you can easily take this connection between air pollution and mental health into your hand.
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