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Air pollution is a killer, but it also does damage in subtle ways - such as having effects on the brain. A recent study found that early childhood exposure to high amounts of traffic-related air pollution (city life, living next to a highway) resulted in the brain having structural changes (differences in brain volume and cortical ...continue reading "What Is Air Pollution From Traffic Doing To Your Brain?"

A new study has nicely illustrated how extreme air pollution gets quickly into a person and has negative health effects, but improvement occurs when the exposure to the air pollution ends. It has long been known that long-term exposure to air pollution is associated with increased heart disease and death from heart disease (cardiovascular morbidity ...continue reading "Even Short-term Exposure to High Levels of Air Pollution Is Bad For Your Health"

Several recent studies have highlighted the negative effects of air pollution on the brain, specifically from the tiniest particles in polluted air (called PM 2.5). These tiny particles get to the human brain and cause all sorts of damage. Even at levels within government guidelines. Two studies found that with higher chronic (daily) exposure to PM2.5 ...continue reading "Air Pollution and the Brain, Part 1"

Two recent studies point out the dangers of air pollution to the developing fetus. The first study found an association with high levels of air pollution during pregnancy and lower IQ years later when the children were between the ages of 4 to 6 (as compared to women exposed to less traffic-related air pollution during ...continue reading "Air Pollution Has Harmful Effects During Pregnancy"

Researchers measured chemicals in the air in 2 cities (Boulder, CO and Toronto, Canada) and found equally high levels of 2 chemicals in the air during morning commute times - benzene (from vehicle exhaust) and a type of siloxane (from personal care products). What? This study's results make a strong case for reading ingredient lists of ...continue reading "Personal Care Products and Air Pollution"

Uh-oh, it looks like some (many?) new or fairly new kitchen cabinets are outgassing several types of PCBs from the wood sealants used on the cabinets. PCBs (polychlorinated biphenyls) were banned in the 1970s due to health risks - for example, they are known carcinogens, and some are neurotoxic (also here). Researchers from the University ...continue reading "Kitchen Cabinet Sealants Can Be A Source of Indoor Air Pollution"

I recently read a nice article discussing indoor air pollution, which can be worse than outdoor air, even that of cities. Yes, that's true! In past posts I've discussed problems (and health issues) with air fresheners, fragrances, incense, dryer sheets, scented candles, synthetic rugs, "stain-proofing", and flame retardants in upholstery, but this article is about furniture and ...continue reading "Furniture Can Be A Cause of Indoor Air Pollution"

Air pollution is linked to so many negative health effects, now another one - poorer quality sperm. In this study 6475 males  (ages ranged from 15–49 years) had their sperm analyzed as part of a standard medical examination program in Taiwan. They were also able to get air pollution measurements for each person's address for ...continue reading "Air Pollution Has an Effect On Sperm?"

A study of 60 million Americans 65 years old and older (the entire Medicare population) found that long-term exposure to airborne fine particulate matter (PM2.5) and ozone at concentrations below current national standards increases the risk of premature death ("all cause mortality") even when the levels are below current national standards. This effect was most pronounced ...continue reading "Older Adults, Air Pollution, and Premature Death"

The use of nanomaterials has been really increasing  in recent years without us really understanding if  nanoparticles have negative health effects, and if they travel to the brain or other organs in the human body. Nanoparticles are used in many  consumer products, including foods (e.g., nano-sized titanium dioxide) and medicines, but they are also found ...continue reading "Nanoparticles in Air Pollution Travel From Lungs to Bloodstream?"