Thursday April 19, 2018

Delhi students studying in polluted school air: Report

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New Delhi: Giving a hit to the Delhi government’s claims of improvement in the atmosphere of the city through the odd-even scheme, a Greenpeace India study found high levels of metals in the air. Though, the samples were collected since last October.

The high density of metal in air impacts the cognitive and motoric development of a child. Samples were collected from schools in Paschim Vihar, Tagore garden and Meera bagh and testing was done in England.

Report said that most of the sample showed the dangerous level of metallic presence in the air. In Paschim Vihar, the level of cadmium exceeded the safe limit and in Tagore Garden, it was arsenic concentration. Same way in Meera Bagh, the levels of lead and nickel were too much.

The concerning factor is that samples were collected from schools which mean Children are exposed to dangerous air and it can lead them to diseases like cancer.

“Exposure to even small quantities continuously can be hazardous. The result signifies that schoolchildren are exposed to exceeding levels of heavy metals that increase the risk of cancer and developmental problems. More the PM2.5 concentrations, higher will be the exposure to heavy metals,” said Sunil Dahiya, campaigner, Greenpeace India.

Greenpeace report suggested that Delhi needs to take strict action to counter this and reduce the children’s exposure to the polluted atmosphere.

Delhi was declared one of the most polluted city which forced Delhi government to roll out odd even scheme to counter it. Today, coincidently marks the end the practice of odd even scheme. The data of these 15 days will be collected and on the basis of its results, a decision will be taken whether this scheme will be back or not in future.

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Youth in polluted cities at increased risk of Alzheimer’s

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Climate Trends works on solutions to air pollution, while Co Media Lab is a community media lab.
Pollution can lead to Alzheimer's in youth. Wikimedia Commons

Children and young adults living in polluted megacities are at increased risk of developing Alzheimer’s, a debilitating brain disease characterised by memory loss, a new study has warned.

“Alzheimer’s disease hallmarks start in childhood in polluted environments, and we must implement effective preventative measures early,” said one of the researchers Lilian Calderon-Garciduenas from University of Montana in the US.

Air pollution can trigger Alzheimer’s. Flickr

“It is useless to take reactive actions decades later,” Calderon-Garciduenas said. The findings, published in the Journal of Environmental Research, indicate that Alzheimer’s starts in early childhood, and the disease progression relates to age, pollution exposure and status of Apolipoprotein E (APOE 4), a well-known genetic risk factor for Alzheimer’s. The researchers studied 203 autopsies of Mexico City residents in the US ranging in age from 11 months to 40 years.

Metropolitan Mexico City is home to 24 million people exposed daily to concentrations of fine particulate matter and ozone above US Environmental Protection Agency standards. The researchers tracked two abnormal proteins that indicate development of Alzheimer’s, and they detected the early stages of the disease in babies less than a year old.

Also Read: Your daily cup of coffee can worsen Alzheimer’s symptoms

The scientists found heightened levels of the two abnormal proteins — hyperphosphorylated tau and beta amyloid — in the brains of young urbanites with lifetime exposures to fine-particulate-matter pollution (PM2.5).

They also tracked APOE 4 as well as lifetime cumulative exposure to unhealthy levels of PM2.5 — particles which are at least 30 times smaller than the diameter of a human hair and frequently cause the haze over urban areas. The researchers found hallmarks of the disease among 99.5 percent of the autopsies they examined in Mexico City. In addition, the findings showed that APOE 4 carriers had a higher risk of rapid progression of Alzheimer’s.

Alzheimer’s can cause depression too. Pixabay

The researchers believe the detrimental effects are caused by tiny pollution particles that enter the brain through the nose, lungs and gastrointestinal tract, and these particles damage all barriers and travel everywhere in the body through the circulatory system.

The authors noted that ambient air pollution is a key modifiable risk for millions of people across the globe. “Neuroprotection measures ought to start very early, including the prenatal period and childhood,” Calderon-Garciduenas said. “Defining pediatric environmental, nutritional, metabolic and genetic risk-factor interactions are key to preventing Alzheimer’s disease,” she added. IANS

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