Rat Brains Get Damaged by air pollution

Los Angeles is no longer safe for rats if they are exposed to air pollution, for this is very detrimental to their health- it damages their brains, according to a recent study conducted.

Prolonged exposure, according to this new study, to particulate matter in the Los Angeles Basin elicited inflammation and the appearance of cancer-related genes in the brains of rats, a Cedar-Sinai cancer study found.

Though research conducted previously have documented how air pollution and a variety of diseases are related, which included cancer, the study has recently found markers indicating precise materials in coarse air pollution, nickel- in particular, may play a role in the changes of the genes related to the development of diseases.

Julia Ljubimova, MD, Ph.D., director of the Nanomedicine Research Center at Cedars-Sinai, the lead author of the paper, published April 9 in Scientific Reports said:

This study, which looked at novel data gathered in the Los Angeles area, has significant implications for the assessment of air quality in the region, particularly as people are exposed to air pollution here for decades.”

The study found that coarse particulate matter in the region’s air pollution could find its way into the body in two ways: through the lungs when inhaled, thus allowing trace metals and other harmful materials to enter the bloodstream and then affecting the lungs;  and through the nose, where the materials are completely absorbed into the brain.

Commenting on cleaning the air in Los Angeles, William A. Burke, EdD, chairman of the South Coast Air Quality Management District said that the task was no easy a thing- it’s demanding, however, they were very pleased to help. He said:

“Cleaning the air in the Los Angeles Basin has been a long and arduous task, and we are happy to support the research that produced such a groundbreaking paper. We must continue to shed light on how air pollution negatively affects our health.”

Ljubimova stated:

“While the study’s findings may be unique to the composition of air pollution in the Los Angeles Basin, there are many examples of potentially damaging effects of air pollution exposures in major cities.

“Our modern society is becoming increasingly urbanized and exposed to air pollution.

“This trend underscores the need for additional research on the biology of air-pollution-induced organ damage, along with a concerted effort aimed at reducing ambient air pollution levels.”


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