Constant exposure to vehicular pollution can leave you feeling suffocated, irritated,and stressed. But that’s not the only effect pollution has. According to a research article, traffic-related air pollution, otherwise known as TRAP, has been proven to impact the brain metabolism of children on constant exposure. While this is the first-of-its-kind research which links traffic-related air pollution with anxiety disorders among adolescents, it is enough to help elucidate the impact of air pollution on mental health,especially on young children. The main objective of this research survey was to find the relation between various childhood anxiety disorders and TRAP.  As per the study results, vehicular air pollution caused a drastic increase in the levels of myo-inositol, a carbolic sugar found in our brain which helps in osmoregulation and also mediates cell signal transduction in our body. This can lead to a change in the overall neurochemistry resulting in anxiety issues and a host of other mental disorders. This research study was conducted on around 145 adolescent participants of around 12years of age. The participants were subjected to magnetic resonance spectroscopy to assess the levels of myo-inositol, creatine, choline, glutathione, N-acetylaspartate, glutamate plus glutamine, and glutamate in the anterior cingulate cortex. Their corresponding anxiety levels were also observed using the SpenceChildren’s Anxiety Scale and recorded. Researchers accounted for the exposure to vehicular pollution during infancy till 12 months prior to this magnetic resonance spectroscopy imaging by means of linear regression and a bootstrapping approach. So what were they looking for exactly? Researchers were looking for an alteration in the neurochemistry,and a possible increase in the mentioned hormones in the cortex,and that is exactly what they found. After exposure to vehicular pollution, there was a significant increase in the levels of myo-inositol. The levels varied based on the amount and frequency of exposure (participants with high exposure had a significant change in the myo-inositol levels compared to the latter). Also, the ones with elevated levels of myo-inositol were also found to have generalized anxiety symptoms,and around 12% of the symptoms were getting mediated with the elevated myo-inositol levels. Through this research conducted by the Department of Environmental Health, University of Cincinnati, it has become clear that there is a significant impact of TRAP on the mental health of children that can also have detrimental impact on their overall growth and wellbeing. So air pollution is just not about respiratory disorders and physical ailments. It damages us from the inside causing mental disorders as well. It is time to step up and be the change. Know the air you breathe and make informed choices. Invest in our air quality monitors now. Also available on
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