Air pollution already became one of the source problems for respiratory disease. Recently there is air pollution effects that can be felt in various areas due to forest fires, industrial waste, or vehicle emission. Not only give impact to physical health, air pollution also can affecting one’s social life and behaviour, especially mental health which is related with person happiness.
The correlation between air pollution and people happiness
Recently there is a research result shown, how air pollution can affecting person mental health and reducing the happiness. This result has been published in Nature Human Behaviour journal.
Previous research result conducted by Harvard also describing the effect of air pollution that can damaging human health, cognitive abilities, and productivity distraction.
Another research conducted by BMC Public Health also describe the effect of air pollution on human behaviour because of the particles and nitrogen dioxide contained in air pollution. These substances can increase pressure in the brain due to oxidation and inflammation that can bring up negative behaviour.
The higher the substances concentration in a region, there is more unhappy people in it.
Siqi Zeng, a lecturer from Urban Studies and Planning Department, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, who wrote the study about the relation between air pollution with people mental health related with people happiness, has using social media platform data to determine the impact of air pollution on people’s happiness in 144 cities in China.
The increasingly problem because of air pollution in China makes the public in China became actively voice their concern for their health related with air quality on social media.
To measure the level of happiness in each city, Zheng and his colleagues analyzed and reviewed 120 million posts on the Sina Weibo platform from March to November 2014.
From these data it can be seen where the posts come from and the emotions they feel, sad or happy. Furthermore, the data will be matched with the daily air quality index in the area where the post are being posted.
From the data analysis, the researchers found that there is a correlation between air pollution effects with the level of people’s happiness.
Emotional impact from air pollution effects
From the research results showed that on the days where the air pollution level is relatively higher, the happiness levels on that area is lower. The sources of air pollution that can affect happiness in the research area mostly come from the use of motor vehicles, industrial activities, and coal burning.
Polluted air triggers someone to do risky impulsive actions. The actions usually come from irrational reasons that being used as decisions to make the actions, which will be being regretted later. This kind of actions because of air pollution impact will cause anxiety disorders and depression in short terms.
The results also mentioning that women can feel air pollution effects more significant than men. Decreased air quality greatly affects women’s happiness.
Even though this research results also using results from other studies that can support this research results, a further research is still needed to test this results conclusion.
However we still need to hinder the effects from air pollution for our health.
Avoid air pollution effects
By knowing that air pollution can have negative impacts on human body health and mental health, at least you will be more concerned about environmental sustainability and more aware of the dangers.
From these studies, to avoid the danger from high levels air pollution, people in China now are known to decide to move to cleaner area or live in buildings that are based on green energy.
Do not worry if your current conditions does not allow you to move to another place. There are still several ways you can do to avoid the effects of dangerous air pollution, such as:
- Use protective equipment such as face masks when outside the home
- Limit the time to do activities in high polluted places
- When exercising outside, choose a place that is far from pollution
- Limit the use of private vehicles when traveling
- Avoid burning rubbish