Air Pollution Linked With Psychiatric Disorders in Children

Scientists have added to growing evidence linking air pollution to poor health, showing it appears to worsen mental problems in children. Lead co-author Cole Brokamp, Assistant Professor at the UC Department of Pediatrics, said in a statement: “This study is the first to show an association between daily outdoor air pollution levels and increased symptoms of psychiatric disorders, like anxiety and suicidality, in children.

Overall, in the three days following a spike of 10 micrograms per meter squared the hospital saw more children attend the psychiatric emergency department. PM 2.5 appeared to exacerbate adjustment disorder and suicidality in particular. The latter condition encompasses suicidal ideation, preparing for suicide, and abandoned attempts to take one’s life.