A new research from China suggests that breathing polluted air can cause stress hormones to spike.
A team of researchers from Fudan University in Shanghai exposed 5 volunteer students to polluted air for 12 days. The scientists specifically looked at the health effects of particulate matter (PM), small particles less than 2.5 mm in diameter, from industrial sources. These particles are inhaled and become lodged in the lungs.
At the end of the study, students’ levels of stress hormones cortisol, cortisone, epinephrine, and norepinephrine increased with dirtier air, as well as their levels of blood sugar, amino acids, fatty acids, and lipids.
Dr. Robert D. Brook, a co-author of the study, of the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor says: “This evidence-based proof is needed to help provide clinical recommendations for the millions of people with heart diseases living in regions where the poor air quality is not likely to significantly improve over the upcoming decades.”