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Source: istock

Air Pollution Linked to Psychiatric Disorders Like Depression and Schizophrenia


Air pollution has been proven to have a variety of negative impacts on public health — and according to a new study, living in an area with significant air pollution can also negatively impact our mental health. Interestingly, the study found significant associations between air pollution and rates of six psychiatric and neuropsychiatric disorders in both the U.S. and Denmark. And even though the findings are preliminary, it's just one more piece of information showing how the climate crisis affects people — especially those living in poverty.

The study, published Tuesday, Aug. 20 in the journal PLOS Biology, studied four psychiatric conditions: bipolar disorder, major depression, personality disorder, and schizophrenia; it also looked at two neurological conditions: epilepsy and Parkinson's disease. For the U.S. part of the study, the authors studied insurance claims data for more than 151,104,811 U.S. residents between 2003 and 2013. They then studied EPA data on environmental factors, such as quality of air, water, and land, vehicular pollution, weather, and various sociodemographic factors (which are also known to affect psychiatric disorders), and compared the two data sets to look for correlations between pollution and those disorders.