How living close to a street light could increase your risk of deadly disease

 

LIVING close to a street light could increase your risk of deadly disease, experts have claimed.

Across the UK there are millions of street lights – with the majority of these being concentrated in major towns and cities.

In London alone there are close to 2.6million – with the capital also being one of the most polluted cities in the country.

In general, cities have more street lights than smaller towns and villages.

The World Health Organization (WHO) says that other cities that have high levels of pollution include Manchester, Swansea and Leeds.

With large towns also having high levels of pollution and street lighting.

A government research group has now found that air pollution could increase your risk of dementia.

Dementia is when mental deterioration is severe enough to interfere with someone’s daily life.

It causes problems with thinking, reasoning and memory – as these are the areas in the brain that become damaged by the disease.

There are currently 944,000 people with dementia in the UK, more than ever before, and this number is projected to increase, says Alzheimer’s Research UK.

The new 291-page report, published by the Committee on the Medical Effects of Air Pollutants, looked at 70 studies which analysed how exposure to emissions affect the brain over time.

Medics found that air pollution “likely” increases the risk of accelerated “cognitive decline” and of “developing dementia” in older people.

This, they say, could be down to the impact of pollutants entering the circulatory system, affecting blood flow to the brain.

The authors said: “The epidemiological evidence reviewed fairly consistently reports associations between chronic exposure to air pollution and reduced global cognition and impairment in visuospatial abilities as well as cognitive decline and increased risk of dementia.

“Results are heterogeneous as regards to other cognitive domains such as executive function, attention, memory, language and mild cognitive impairment.

“The identified neuroimaging studies consistently report associations between exposure to air pollution and white matter atrophy.”

Commenting on the report, one charity warned that air pollution is damaging health from the cradle to the grave.

Sarah Woolnough, CEO at Asthma + Lung UK said it’s further evidence that the dirty air we breathe every day has a significant impact on our health.

“Not only does it cause and trigger lung conditions like asthma, but it’s becoming ever more clear that it also contributes to dementia, lung cancer and heart disease.

“This is a public health emergency that is affecting people from the cradle to the grave, and that’s why as a charity we’re urging the government to commit to tougher legal limits in October 2022 which will curb the levels of the most harmful form of air pollution to human health (PM2.5) by 2030, rather than current proposals which delay compliance until 2040.

“As the evidence relating to the health effects of air pollution continues to grow, we cannot risk forcing another generation to grow up breathing dangerous air that is harming their lungs and future health.”

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