In the United States, April brings promises of showers and weather slowly warming. For most, April is the start of spring. However, did you know that April is also World Autism Month? Organizations like, Autism Speaks, provide awareness and education for all topics that include autism. This month is a time to build awareness and acceptance of autism. This month, we discuss the correlation between pollution and autism, as well as other mental health effects caused by pollution. Building your knowledge on the movement of mental health will help you better understand and support the movement.
What Is Autism?
Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is used to describe a spectrum of disorders. People who are diagnosed with ASD experience a variety of symptoms ranging from a lack of verbal communication skills to unnatural or repetitive physical behaviors. Those with autism may also experience an intellectual advantage in areas like art or math. Although there isn’t a single factor that causes autism, researchers have been able to identify a variety of genetic and environmental factors that can lead to a higher rate of autism. Learn more about “The evolution of ‘autism’ as a diagnosis” which states that there have been no confirmed links between autism and genes, although autism rates are up 10%.
Air Pollution & Mental Health
Air pollution is a generalized term meant to include a variety of pollutants; for example, organic and metallic compounds, gasses, and particulate matter (PM). Scientists have found that particulate matter (PM) has the greatest effect on your mental and physical health. PM makes its way into the air by both natural and artificial causes. The highest percentage of PM typically comes from fossil fuels and agriculture. Most natural PM comes from wildfires and dust debris that is blown around.
Exposure to particulate matter and other air pollution has been correlated to Autism Spectrum Disorder, stating that there appeared to be a stronger correlation in the child’s second and third year of life. Additionally, children and adults with pre-existing health conditions, like heart or respiratory disease, are the most susceptible to experiencing the negative effects of air pollution. With particulate matter pollution increasing around the world, we need to acknowledge and understand the threat that it poses on our friend’s and family’s physical and mental health.
Other Mental Health Risks
According to the World Health Organization, seven million people die each year due to air pollution and its effects. Many of these deaths are linked to premature health conditions such as respiratory and heart disease. Besides these serious health effects and Autism Spectrum Disorder, what other mental health risks are associated with air pollution? Depression affects 264 million people worldwide, and the American Psychological Association states pollution could possibly lead to this diagnosis.
According to a study done in China in 2018, for every single standard deviation of particulate matter increase, with an average of PM2.5, there is a 6.67% increase in mental illness, including depression. The research concluded that particulate matter air pollution drives inflammation and physical stress in the brain that can ultimately lead to depression and a variety of mental health disorders.
With 9 out of 10 people breathing in air pollution on a regular basis, it’s important to understand some of the potential mental health effects that it can cause for you and loved ones. Remember, that air pollution is all around you and cannot be avoided. One of the best ways to protect yourself is by having the right knowledge and tools. Using Activa Coating will help to keep the air you and your loved ones breathe cleaner. Don’t miss this chance to paint your interior walls and coat the exterior of your house! Order Activa Coating today.