With a little over 325 million people running here and there with work, school, play or whatever completes your needs and desires. That can create discomforting pollutants in the air. The air that we inhale, about 14 times a minute, is having a lasting effect that is harmful to our health and now it seems to our mental health as well.
These pollutants can be as minor as dust kicking up in the air, down to the black carbons that are formed through incomplete combustion of fossil fuels, bio fuels and biomass which will last in the atmosphere for a couple of days. While carbon dioxide pollutants stay in the atmosphere for more than 100 years. Long term exposure to these kind of pollutants can cause damage to the brain and mental health as well.
It has been proven that air pollution affects our physical health and just being sick can shake the mental stability of one self. Becoming sick for a short or long period of time can lead to a person becoming depressed. The American Lung Association reports that pollution can lead to many kinds of health issues. Those including asthma, lung cancer and a shorter life span. Andrea Lee, who campaigns for Client Earth, states that there needs to be more research that could link the effects of depression to contaminated air.
With the annual report of the most polluted cities in the United States, some of the same cities still remain at the top of the list. For example, The American Lung Association reports that in 2014 the top 8 most polluted sites are listed as followed:
- #8 Dallas Forth Worth, TX
- #7 Modesto-Merced, CA
- #6 The Woodlands, TX
What? The Woodlands, TX? I grew up there. I thought the city was known, well “hushed” to be known as a place where contaminants were dumped before the city was built. The cover up from the over run of the sawdust mills that poisoned the ground and air at and around an Intermediate school. Where students, including myself and twin sister, became sick. Many are now dying from the long-term effects of these poisonous conditions that lingered in the air and soil. All of that is still being hidden from the public. But that is a whole other problem.
Let’s get back on track:
- #5 Sacramento-Roseville, CA
- #4 Fresno-Madera, CA
- #3 Bakersfield, CA
- #2 Visalia-Porterville-Hanford, CA
And the number one spot, that no city wants to claim, goes to the Los Angeles-Long Beach area. The most recent report for the most polluted cities in 2016 changes just a little, but not much:
- #8 Sacramento-Roseville, CA
- #7 San Diego-Carlsbad, CA
- #6 Modesto-Merced, CA
- #5 Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale, CA
- #4 Visalia-Porterville-Hanford, CA
- #3 Fresno Madera, PA
- #2 Bakersfield, CA
- #1 Los Angeles-Long Beach.
I agree that we need more research about what kind of links cause depression. And it very well could be that being sick, weak and having a never-ending feeling of having declining health can be caused by the contaminants in our air. I wouldn’t want to be cooped up and always under the weather, just thinking about it is making my head spin. Clean air is a must for everyone’s survival and well-being. Maybe we should start wearing surgical masks until better solutions are in effect to clean up our air and save this planet.
For more information feel free to contact the American Lung Association to learn how you can support clean air in your community, as well as find other great resources at www.lung.org