A Framework for Examining Social Stress and Susceptibility to Air Pollution in Respiratory Health (8 page pdf Jane E. Clougherty, Laura D. Kubzansky, Environmental Health Perspectives, Sep. 2009)
Also discussed here:EPA Workshop on Interactions between Social Stressors and Environmental Hazards (Abstracts, Environmental Protection Agency, Sep. 19, 2012)
And here: London parents see toxic air as 'the biggest health threat to their children (Nicholas Cecil , Evening Standard, Mar. 21, 2016)
Today we examine a literature review into the links between psychological stresses and air pollution. Historically studies have shown that asthma is exacerbated when a person is also exposed to traffic related air pollution. Some air pollutants affect oxidative stress and cell production. Stress also may affect the permeability of bodily membranes to allow greater chemical uptake by organs including the brain. Roadway noise causes higher stress and depression as well as a higher heart rate for those who live near traffic.
“Limited but growing epidemiologic evidence indicates that psychological stress may also alter susceptibility to physical exposures, such as air pollution. This work examined social environmental interactions in respiratory and cardiovascular disease, such as stress-related modification of traffic-related air pollution effects on asthma etiology ..or exacerbation”
“some air pollutants and psycho-social stress may independently affect common physiologic processes such as oxidative stress …or inflammatory cell ..production”
“Some evidence suggests that stress may alter permeability of bodily membranes to chemical exposures,such that stress may alter systemic transport and chemical uptake into organs including the brain..facilitating combined and synergistic effects of stressors and pollution on many bodily systems.”
“Evidence suggests that roadway noise, a spatial stressor correlated with pollution, increases heart rate among adults and children ..and living in high-traffic areas predicts higher stress, lower self-reported health, and depressive symptoms .. effects distinct from those of pollution”