Ever think those people wearing mask to avoid inhaling pollution look ridiculous? On the edge of being a hyperchondriac? Maybe not! Researchers have evidence of vehicle exhaust magnetite particles being present in brain tissue.
Air Pollution Particles Show Up in Brain Tissue
The finding – described as “dreadfully shocking” by the researchers – raises a host of new questions about the health risks of air pollution.
Many studies have focused on the impact of dirty air on the lungs and heart.
Now this new research provides the first evidence that minute particles of what is called magnetite, which can be derived from pollution, can find their way into the brain.
“It’s dreadfully shocking. When you study the tissue you see the particles distributed between the cells and when you do a magnetic extraction there are millions of particles, millions in a single gram of brain tissue – that’s a million opportunities to do damage.”
Further study revealed that the particles have a distinctive shape which provides a crucial clue to their origin.
Magnetite can occur naturally in the brain in tiny quantities but the particles formed that way are distinctively jagged.
By contrast, the particles found in the study were not only far more numerous but also smooth and rounded – characteristics that can only be created in the high temperatures of a vehicle engine or braking systems. read more at bbc.com
I will definitely pay more attention when there is an air quality air alert in my area. Maybe masking up is a good idea when air quality is poor.