Air pollution and asthma linked to suicide
Kim’s team found that suicides were more common in the two days following a spike in pollution. They considered PM10 measurements on a scale from the highest and lowest levels recorded, calculating that people were 9 percent more likely to kill themselves following a spike in pollution rising across the middle 50 percent of recorded values. For people with cardiovascular disease, which has already been linked with particulate pollution, the increase was almost 19 percent.
Where air pollution is involved, the problem may not only be that as people’s physical symptoms worsen, they become more distressed. Kim suggests that PM10s may also cause nerve inflammation, affecting mental health through a direct biological mechanism.
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