Can Air Pollution Contribute to Dementia, Too?

By Susanne Rust, California Watch

(Mark H. Anbinder: Flickr)

(Mark H. Anbinder: Flickr)

It’s well established that dirty, sooty air is no good for your lungs and probably not great for your skin. But new research indicates it can damage your brain, too.

A study in the journal of the Archives of Internal Medicine shows that air pollution accelerates cognitive decline in women.

And with a new federal report showing Southern Californians are at the highest risk of death due to air pollution, this study adds to the growing body of grim evidence showing air pollution and healthy bodies don’t mix.

“We keep learning about more adverse effects (from pollution) than we thought possible,” said Jean Ospital, health effects officer with the South Coast Air Quality Management District, who was not involved with the current research.

“I’m not sure I find these results surprising,” he said, “but I’m also not sure I would have expected them if you’d asked me 10 years ago.” Continue reading