Environmental neurotoxic pollutants: review, published on Environmental science and pollution research international, has tried to give answers to this important issue: a theme connected with the climate crisis that is inexorably advancing and which, until now, seems to find no way out.
Here is the abstract: "Environmental pollutants are recognized as one of the major concerns for public health and responsible for various forms of neurological disorders. Some of the common sources of environmental pollutants related to neurotoxic manifestations are industrial waste, pesticides, automobile exhaust, laboratory waste, and burning of terrestrial waste.
Among various environmental pollutants, particulate matter, ultrafine particulate matter, nanoparticles, and lipophilic vaporized toxicant (acrolein) easily cross the blood-brain barrier, activate innate immune responses in the astrocytes, microglia, and neurons, and exert neurotoxicity.
Growing shreds of evidence from human epidemiological studies have correlated the environmental pollutants with neuroinflammation, oxidative stress, endoplasmic reticulum stress, mitochondrial dysfunction, myelin sheath disruption, and alterations in the blood-brain barrier anatomy leading to cognitive dysfunction and poor quality of life.
These environmental pollutants also considerably cause developmental neurotoxicity, exhibit teratogenic effect and mental growth retardance, and reduce IQ level. Until now, the exact mechanism of pollutant-induced neurotoxicity is not known, but studies have shown interference of pollutants with the endogenous antioxidant defense system, inflammatory pathway (Nrf2/NF-kB, MAPKs/PI3K, and Akt/GSK3β), modulation of neurotransmitters, and reduction in long-term potentiation.
In the current review, various sources of pollutants and exposure to the human population, developmental neurotoxicity, and molecular mechanism of different pollutants involved in the pathogenesis of different neurological disorders have been discussed."
Climate change is also affecting mental health
Climate change or climate change refers to variations in the Earth's climate, variations at different spatial and historical-temporal scales of one or more environmental and climatic parameters in their average values: temperatures, precipitation, cloudiness, ocean temperatures, distribution and development of plants and animals and buildings.
The various greenhouse gases play an important role in the climate since through the greenhouse effect they regulate the flow of energy retained in the earth's atmosphere and help to keep the climatic parameters constant by reacting in the phases of climate warming and cooling.
The predicted scenarios postulate that, as the planet warms, the polar ice caps melt and since snow has a high albedo. Global warming refers to the change in the earth's climate that has developed since the beginning of the 20th century and is still ongoing.
The scientific community attributes this change to emissions into the earth's atmosphere of increasing quantities of greenhouse gases and to other factors all attributable to human activity. Climate crisis is a term to describe human-induced global warming and climate change and their consequences.
The term has been used to describe the threat of global warming to the planet, and the need for aggressive mitigation of climate change. For example, an article published in January 2020 signed by more than eleven thousand scientists from 153 nations states that the climate crisis has arrived and that immense growth in efforts to preserve our biosphere is necessary to avoid untold suffering due to the climate crisis.
The Climate Change and Mental Health study, published on the Current environmental health reports, links the climate crisis, global warming and mental disorders. Here is an abstrac of the study: "A growing body of research demonstrates not only that the extreme weather events associated with a changing climate can impair mental health, in particular leading to increases in depression and post-traumatic stress disorder, but also that more gradual changes in climatic conditions, such as rising temperatures and reduced air quality, are also harmful to mental health.
In addition, there is increasing evidence that a significant proportion of people might be experiencing a harmful level of anxiety associated with their perception of climate change. Mental health impacts of climate change have the potential to affect a significant proportion of the population.
More research is needed to document the extent of these impacts as well as the best options for mitigating and treating them."