The Surprising Link Between Depression & Poor Air Quality

When you consider the harmful effects of breathing in polluted air, your mental health probably doesn’t come to mind. But what if your state of mind is being dramatically affected by contaminants in the air that you can’t even see?

Recent studies and research indicate that there is a very real connection between how you feel and the quality of your air.

The Basics of Toxic Air Pollution

Air pollution is an umbrella term for anything airborne that is harmful or poisonous. It can occur indoors or outdoors. What is considered the most harmful component of this is frequently referred to as “airborne particulate matter”, or PM.

Woman opening window and breathing in fresh air.

Different types of particles make up PM, including:

  • Dust
  • Dirt
  • Soot
  • Liquid

It can get even more complex than that. The Environmental Protection Agency states that these particles can be made up of hundreds of different chemicals and that most PM particles are the result of chemical reactions when the different types of pollution mix.

How Much of This Pollution is Indoors?

It is widely cited that indoor air pollution tends to be be much worse than outdoor air pollution. A large reason for this is how contained the space is, allowing pollutants to accumulate without a way out.

Indoor air pollution does tend to differ considerably from outdoor air. Indoor pollutant considerations center around home activity, building materials and biological buildup such as dander, dust and mold. However, studies do indicate that the dangerous PMs are also a large indoor concern.

So when you are trying to escape the smog by relaxing indoors, you might not be in as safe of a place as you think!

The Effects of Pollution On Your Brain

Recently, it was found that exposure to PMs increased the risk of hospitalization for depression.

Other findings include links to the negative effects of specific PMs, including:

  • Impairment of brain function over long term.
  • Increased stress levels.
  • Higher depression risk, especially for those with preexisting cardiovascular diseases and diabetes.
  • Depression symptoms specifically among the elderly.

No one is quite sure why these links exist, but the mind and body are very interconnected and PMs have long been known to cause biological harm.

How to Avoid the Risk

Mental health is a nuanced issue. There are many things that contribute to and detract from “feeling happy.” However, with such a strong connection between depression and poor air quality, it is definitely worth addressing. It might already be affecting you or your family more than you realize.

If you really want solid peace of mind, a high efficiency filter can trap a lot of the dangerous PMs that might be floating around your home. With this filter, you can make sure that you can truly relax in the safety of your own home. Call us at (239) 848-6533 to learn more about how we can help your family Breathe Easy!