Particulate Matter and Associated Metals: A Link with Neurotoxicity and Mental Health
Particulate air pollution (PM) is a mixture of heterogenous components from natural and anthropogenic sources and contributes to a variety of serious illnesses, including neurological and behavioral effects, as well as millions of premature deaths. Ultrafine (PM0.1) and fine-size ambient particles (PM2.5) can enter the circulatory system and cross the blood–brain barrier or enter through the optic nerve, and then upregulate inflammatory markers and increase reactive oxygen species (ROS) in the
... rain. Toxic and neurotoxic metals such as manganese (Mn), zinc (Zn), lead (Pb), copper (Cu), nickel (Ni), and barium (Ba) can adsorb to the PM surface and potentially contribute to the neurotoxic effects associated with PM exposure. Epidemiological studies have shown a negative relationship between exposure to PM-associated Mn and neurodevelopment amongst children, as well as impaired dexterity in the elderly. Inhaled PM-associated Cu has also been shown to impair motor performance and alter basal ganglia in schoolchildren. This paper provides a brief review of the epidemiological and toxicological studies published over the last five years concerning inhaled PM, PM-relevant metals, neurobiology, and mental health outcomes. Given the growing interest in mental health and the fact that 91% of the world's population is considered to be exposed to unhealthy air, more research on PM and PM-associated metals and neurological health is needed for future policy decisions and strategic interventions to prevent public harm.