File this under Cars R Coffins: A new study adds to the body of evidence that exposure to air pollutants from vehicle exhaust makes people stupid.
Consider the evidence so far:
- Low cognitive function in older women is associated with proximity to car traffic (Ranft et al. 2009)
- In middle aged adults, lower cognitive performance is associated with exposure to car fumes (Chen and Schwartz 2009)
- School children exposed to car exhaust do poorly on standardized tests (Suglia et al. 2008)
- Children exposed to car exhaust have lower IQs (Perera et al. 2009)
- The prevalence of autism is associated with proximity at birth to urban freeways (Volk et
- Brain autopsies on people from infamously polluted Mexico City reveal amyloid β-peptide deposits, which are generally associated with Alzheimers patients, and unusual inflammation in the brain tissue and blood vessels in the brain (Calderón-Garcidueñas et al. 2008)
- And earlier Mexico City study shows similar findings with dog brains – markers for dementia and inflammation in the brain (Calderon-Garciduenas et al. 2003).
Last year, researchers at the University of Southern California specifically extracted vehicle exhaust particulate matter (PM) from collected air samples along the 110 freeway in Los Angeles. This is the microfine ‘soot’ that even the cleanest of hydrocarbon burning vehicles emit, and the scientists and their grad student slaves focused specifically on ultrasmall ‘nano’ PM to see what happens when rodents are exposed to this stuff. Doing this isolates poorly understood nano-particles from the better known gaseous poisons of exhaust such as carbon monoxide.
Exposure was through inhalation by live rats and also by directly applying the vehicle exhaust nanoparticles directly to brain cell cultures. The USC researchers discovered exhaust nanoparticles are easily absorbed into brain tissue and are toxic to brain cells. They saw the poisons inflame and damage brain cells and inhibit brain tissue growth in cell cultures. Furthermore, they saw the exhaust particles damages brain blood vessels, causing cognitive decline through reduced blood flow into the brain.
There’s evidence that these ultrafine automotive poisons can be transported directly to the brain via the olfactory nerves. Our mucous membranes are designed to clear somewhat larger dust particles; nanoparticles spewed into the atmosphere by our motor transportation have a clear path to all parts of our bodies. Even if you don’t breath, you’re hosed.
Vehicle exhaust nanoparticles damage brain cells, damage blood supply to the brain, inhibit brain cell growth, make children stupid, and accelerate age related cognitive impairments.
More –> Environmental Health Perspectives Glutamatergic Neurons in Rodent Models Respond to Nanoscale Particulate Urban Air Pollutants In Vivo and In Vitro by Todd E. Morgan, David A. Davis, Nahoko Iwata, Jeremy A. Tanner, David Snyder, Zhi Ning, Winnie Kam, Yu-Tien Hsu, Jeremy W. Winkler, Jiu-Chiuan Chen, Nicos A. Petasis, Michel Baudry, Constantinos Sioutas, Caleb E. Finch. I encourage you to click through on the links I provided above to the related research as well.