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Head in the Clouds

One of the most widely talked about issues at the moment is pollution and the traumatic impact it is having on our planet. From the rising sea levels to animal extinction, the effects of pollution are clear and everybody is keen to express an opinion on it. However, not many people seem to be discussing the effect we are having on ourselves. Whilst campaigns to “save the turtles” and “build a better future” are attracting mass interest, there seem to be very few movements aiming to protect humans.

Recently, a study was carried out in which 2,000 teenagers, living in both rural and urban areas, were tracked and monitored to see whether they had suffered from any form of psychosis (such as hallucinations or delusions). The results showed that the numbers of teenagers living in highly-polluted areas reporting psychotic experiences were almost double that of teenagers in areas of low pollution.

Although one study is not enough to give definitive, conclusive results, it has given scientists an indication that air pollution may be linked with mental health issues. They are considering whether it is due to dangerous particles and chemicals entering the blood stream and causing an impact on brain health. This can lead to symptoms of psychosis such as hallucinations, confused thoughts and a lack of self-awareness. It is also believed that other mental health issues can arise as a result of these harmful, pollutant particles.

It is important that we start to take action in order to prevent further, more severe impacts emerging due to pollution. Of course, the movements that have urged people to take more note of the effects of mankind’s actions on the planet are very helpful, but we need to acknowledge the threat to future generations’ health.

If humans were capable of causing these problems, they’re surely capable of resolving them.

By Eliza, Year 10