This story was originally published by Mother Jones and is reproduced here as part of the Climate Desk collaboration.
Most of us associate car pollution with coughing and wheezing, but mounting evidence is linking air pollution to a less obvious health effect: dementia.
People who live near a major road are up to 12 percent more likely to develop dementia — a group of memory-loss disorders including Alzheimer’s disease — than those who live farther away, according to study published Wednesday in medical journal in The Lancet.
The study, led by scientists at Public Health Ontario, found that the risk of dementia increased the closer residents lived to a major road, and the longer they lived there. The authors tracked all the adults living in Ontario, Canada — about 6.6 million people — over the course of a decade from 2001 to 2012. Using postal codes and medical records, they determined how close a given resident lived to a major road — including freeways, highways, or congested roads with two or more lanes — and if they went on to develop dementia.
Residents living within 50 meters (55 yards) of a major road w... Read more