It is a well-known fact that pollution has a bad effect on the overall health of a person, but a new study has revealed that young adults living in polluted areas are at an increased risk of developing Alzheimer’s.
“Alzheimer’s disease hallmarks start in childhood in polluted environments, and we must implement effective preventative measures early,” Lilian Calderon-Garciduenas from University of Montana in the US was quoted as saying by the media. “It is useless to take reactive actions decades later,” Calderon-Garciduenas, one of the researchers, said.
The researchers found increased levels of the two abnormal proteins – hyperphosphorylated tau and beta amyloid – in the brains of young adults who are exposed to fine-particulate-matter pollution.
The findings were published in the Journal of Environmental Research and it showed that Alzheimer’s starts in early childhood.
Earlier this year, a Greenpeace India report suggested indicated that around 47 million children in the country under five years of age reside in areas where particulate matter levels exceed the prescribed limits. About 17 million among them live in places where the pollution levels are twice the limits.
Children residing in Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Bihar, Maharashtra and Delhi were the worst affected, the report showed.
“Together these states are home to 12.9 million children, who are below or up to five years of age, trapped in bad air exceeding by more than twice the annual standard,” the report said.
“A massive part of the population, 580 million or 47 per cent are living in areas where no air quality data is available,” the report pointed out.
The annual PM10 levels in Delhi exceeded five times the national ambient air quality standards. As per national standards, the safe limit for PM10 is 60 microgrammes per cubic meters.