Deal With IT's Secretary Victoria Nicholls writes a regular column in the East Kent Mercury:
We have written about poor air quality in the past and emphasised how deadly it is all around the world. It kills more people than malaria and HIV/Aids put together and has been linked to heart and lung disease and strokes for many years. Now, toxic nanoparticles from air pollution have been discovered in human brains.
The scientists have called their new research a ‘discovery finding’ which should now lead to further examination into what is potentially an environmental risk factor in Alzheimer’s disease. The recent research, which examined the brain tissue of people from Manchester and Mexico, found many particles of magnetite, an iron oxide. This substance is particularly toxic in the brain and oxidative cell damage is one of the key features of Alzheimer’s disease.
Many of the magnetite particles found in the brain are very distinctive because their shape suggests that they are from molten sources from combustion, such as car exhausts, power stations or industrial processes. Magnetite pollution is everywhere – a survey of roadside air in Lancashire found 200 million magnetite particles per cubic metre.
A study undertaken in 2015 linked air pollution to a significant increase in the risk of Alzheimer’s disease while other research showed brain damage in children and young people related to Alzheimer’s. Dementia in older men and women has also been linked to air pollution.
Surely it is time to take drastic action to reduce the amount of pollution in our cities so as not to condemn future generations to this horrible disease.
Victoria Nicholls. Transition Deal.