(STUDY FINDS) -- LONDON — People living in areas with high levels of air pollution are more likely to experience depression or take their own lives, according to an alarming study by researchers at the University College London.
The study used data from 16 countries in what authors say is the first systematic review and meta-analysis of links between fine particulate matter — small airborne particles including dust and soot — and various mental health problems. By the researchers’ calculations, if the relationship between depression, suicide, and air pollution is causal, then lessening the world-wide average exposure to fine particulate matter from 44 micrograms per meter cubed (μg/m3) to 25 μg/m3 would cause a 15% reduction in the global risk of depression.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), fine particulate matter pollution should be under 10 μg/m3 for safety.
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