EARTHWORKS

If you live in the gas patch, you might have a dirty mind

Sharon Wilson's avatar
By Sharon Wilson

May 20, 2011

It is well known that breathing toxic gas patch air is hard on our hearts and lungs now a new study shows it also gives us dirty minds.

 

Children who live in areas with air pollution show brain lesions in the prefrontal cortex of their brains that are similar to people who have dementia and Alzheimer s. They also show signs of cognitive impairments in memory, problem solving and judgment and deficiencies in their sense of smell.

 

In Mexico City, an 11-year-old girl named Ana who has an IQ of 113, which is above-average, also has persistent, growing brain lesions. Ana was one of 54 children who participated in the Mexico City study. Autopsies of healthy children who died in accidents showed proteins that are known hallmarks of Alzheimer s and Parkinson s diseases.

 

Another study of 200 10-year- olds in Boston found that higher airborne concentrations of soot meant lower IQs and poorer memories.

 

Researchers believe nonoparticles--tiny particles in smog, carbon, metals, solvents and other reactive gases-travel through the nose and into the brain where they cause inflammation.

 

While these data are just coming in, a growing body of evidence suggests that nerves in the nose can provide a highway along which some inflammatory pollutants, such as metals, travel directly from the outside world to the brain.

 

And, once these insoluble particles get in the brain, they seem to stay there so long-term exposure could cause a super dirty mind.

 

The researchers suggested eating foods high in antioxidants to counter the inflammation. Eating your colorful fruits and vegetables is always a good idea but eliminating the pollution sources is an even better idea.

 

Several Barnett Shale towns are passing resolutions asking the oil and gas industry to do its Fair Share for Clean Air.

 

Tagged with: vocs, public health, greenhouse gas emissions, dirty drilling

comments powered by Disqus

On Twitter

What's in the toxic #fracking cocktail? @EPA, we need to know! bit.ly/1qK4MBf
.@FrackNation's @PhelimMcAleer will disrupt public events & insult children. What won't he do? Debate @mayortillman re #fracking

On Facebook