Air Pollution has Become The Source Of Depression In Youth

Air Pollution has Become The Source Of Depression In Youth - (Part 2)

22 Mar 2023

Other Effects of Air pollution on Teenagers’ Health

Air pollution not only affects teenagers mentally but physically too. Following are various effects on the minds and bodies of teenagers as a result of air pollution:


1. Cognitive skills:

NO₂ is the most significant air pollutant affecting children’s cognitive development. The brain uses these skills while thinking, reading, memorizing, noticing, paying attention, making decisions, language awareness, and reasoning. These basic skills are vital for a child’s development and growth.

Traffic jams contribute significantly to outdoor emissions of NO₂ gas.

Tobacco smoke and emissions from stoves, ovens, and water heaters are instances of indoor emissions.

2. Fine Motor Skills:

Exposures from pollutants like PM2.5 and PM10 and airborne copper can lead to poor fine motor skills in children. The ability to make precise movements by small muscles in the hands and wrists comes under fine motor skills. These are an ongoing aspect of our daily life.


3. Sensorimotor Skills:

High-traffic areas, coal-fired power stations, and other causes that burn fuel are the sources of Black carbon (BC). High levels of Black Carbon outdoors can affect a child’s sensorimotor skills. Children learn about the world through their senses and motor activities as they get older. These are essential for developing a basic awareness of the environment they are in.

4. Lower IQ Levels:

Lower IQ will impact the academic results of a child, and professionally in the future. Having a good IQ means having a good mental ability. Good response time, cognitive functioning, short-term memory, oral and written skills, and numerical aptitude are measures of good mental ability.

High C6H6 exposure before birth affects a child’s IQ level at the age of 5.

5. Chronic Sadness and depression symptoms among teens:

Sadness and teenage depression can be linked to exposure to O₃ in the ambient atmosphere. Longer O₃ exposures can cause chronic sadness, depression symptoms, lack of interest, and seclusion among teenagers.

6. Bodily Functions:

The ability to move different parts of the body like feet, legs, and hands comes under bodily functions. Exposure to high levels of NO₂ can lead to poor bodily functions among children. At an early age, when body cells and organ tissues are developing, exposure to such pollutants can affect the growing stage of a child.

Air pollution hampers their Cognitive Growth

Air pollution harms the bodies and the brain of teenagers. Their cognitive and muscular abilities can be adversely affected due to increasing levels of air pollution.

The brain is compromised along with the hypothalamus gland, pituitary gland, and gonadal axis. The gonadal axis is a complex interaction between the hypothalamus and the pituitary gland.

Air Pollution and Reproductive problems

Air pollution is bad for a growing mind. The brain handles all hormonal balance in growing teenagers. Air pollution can interfere with this process. Females may experience menstrual irregularities as a result. Stress also has an impact on both male and female reproductive health.

NO₂ sources are so prevalent that you will almost certainly come across one near you. As a result, that makes this gas even more dangerous. Among these sources are:

1.    Emissions caused by traffic jams

2.    Power plants and industrial emissions

3.    Construction and destruction work

4.    Tobacco smoke and fuel-burning appliances such as ovens and stoves are a few instances of indoor sources.

5.    Low foetus growth, foetal distress, preterm, stillbirths, and low birth rates in males are concerned with the occurrence, spread, illness prevention, and air pollution exposure.

6.    Metabolic disorders, amenorrhea cycles, and polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) are among the harmful impacts of air pollution.

7.    1 out of 5 women in India suffers from PCOS and other menstrual hygiene-related issues due to air pollution, changes in lifestyles, and stress.


1.    To avoid these, youngsters should minimize their outdoor activities on days with poor air quality. Wear a good N-95 air mask outside to avoid the risk of harmful air pollution. Monitor the indoor air pollution in homes and schools. Take necessary or appropriate measures accordingly.

2.    Increase ventilation rate in homes and classrooms. Emissions such as CO2 are common indoors due to the respiration process. High CO2 exposure can damage cognitive ability and can affect academic results of the child. 

3.    Parents should keep an eye on their child’s behavioral changes while avoiding helicopter parenting ideology.

4.    Regular exercise, yoga, meditation, and breathing exercises assist in reducing the impacts of stress and depression symptoms in teenagers. Their bodies can benefit from early morning yoga or evening walks.

5.    However, it is critical to monitor outdoor air pollutants as well as overall air quality before stepping outside. This is a critical measure that can prevent toxic air exposure, especially in very polluted areas.

6.    Maintain the indoor air quality when sensitive groups of people are present. Children, the elderly, pregnant women, and persons with underlying health issues such as heart disease, diabetes, and so on are among the sensitive groups of people.


Since teenagers’ bodies and minds are still in the developing stage, air pollution can affect their bodies. The bodies of teenagers go through various changes already. Exposure to air pollution can alter their normal body functions that make their bodies susceptible to catching diseases.

Air pollution can worsen respiratory diseases, thinking abilities, depression symptoms, and panic attacks. Menstrual disturbances in the female body are caused due to air pollution.

The living conditions and surrounding environment plays an important role in adding to the stress and teenage depression. Therefore, air pollution exposures effects bodily functions other than mental health issues.


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● Air Ionization, air nourishment along with purification for additional health benefits.


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