Exposure to air pollution is linked to increased emergency department (ED) visits for psychiatric symptoms in children, new research suggests.

Investigators at the University of Cincinnati in Ohio found short-term exposure to ambient particulate matter was associated with ED visits for psychiatric crises including anxiety and suicidality soon afterward.

“This study is the first to show an association between daily outdoor air pollution levels and increased symptoms of psychiatric disorders, like anxiety and suicidality in children,” lead investigator Cole Brokamp, PhD, said in a statement.

Credit: iStock, VladOrlov

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