This summer saw smoky haze, toxic stemming from Western wildfires spreading across large parts of the US. In the southern part of the US, there were hurricanes wrought extensive flooding. Hazardous conditions on the east coast from western fires have been warned by the Eastern US Air quality website. A few people realize that these climate change-fueled disasters, both floods and fires, could affect human health in the long term.
Lots of research have happened to find out how environmental factors affect the development of neurological disorders. More frequent environmental disaster rises human exposure to neurotoxins. Many scientists link air pollution in various forms to adverse effects on human health, including brain disorders. Wildfire smoke is a mixture of many noxious chemical compounds. The fires are adding dangerous particulate matter to the atmosphere that includes neurotoxic heavy metals. These toxic are added to the environment through other sources like factories, power plants, trucks, automobiles, etc.
Minuscule particles smaller than 2.5 microns are the most significant risks for health problems and can be easily inhaled. From the lungs, they enter the bloodstream and circulate widely throughout the body. These tiny particles inflame the microglial cells in the brain, which causes harm to neurons instead of protecting them. Conditions like Parkinson’s disease and dementia are caused due to inflammation in the brain.
Early exposure to air pollution has been linked to an increased risk of autism spectrum disorder in children. Studies suggest that air pollution exposure during these critical periods, particularly in the third trimester of pregnancy and the first few months of life, may hamper normal neural development. Pollution in water affects brain health.
When phosphorus from fertilizer runoff, pour into fresh and brackish water, it produces cyanotoxins, and these toxic microorganisms thrive and proliferate in warm waterways. These cyanotoxins types are linked with neurodegenerative disorders, including ALS, Parkinson’s disease, and Alzheimer’s disease. Blue-green algae are found in seas, rivers, and lakes. Its presence is a widespread problem for humans, dogs and wildlife.
Mold grows best in warm, humid air and water-damaged buildings are particularly susceptible. Some species emit mycotoxins, and long-term exposure to mycotoxins is hazardous to human health. Mold spores are easy to inhale because they are tiny. They trigger an immune response inside the body, which may lead to chronic inflammation. Exposure to these spores causes cognitive impairment. Mold toxins can trigger inflammation that may harm neurons and brain function. It has been primarily implicated in Parkinson’s disease.
To minimize risks from environmental neurotoxins, greater awareness of environmental health concerns, education, public actions are needed. Consumers can support environmental monitoring of water resources and food. Eliminating neurotoxic substances from body exercise that involves sweating can be a good way. Before exercising outdoors, people should check the air quality. If environmental policies aren’t put into place to mitigate the health risks posed by environmental neurotoxins, then an increase in a variety of neurodegenerative disorders as the toxins can be seen. The neurotoxic connection is rarely considered, and environmental health hazards are often overlooked in the US.