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Something wicked this way comes: how air pollutants might be affecting your mood

by Alice Ervaz | 17-09-2019 04:23 recommendations 1

“Such a gloomy weather, isn’t it?” has been a glamorous conversation starter for over a decade, especially if you hail from Great Britain. While for most people weather is really nothing to write home about, data yielded by local surveys indicates that around 25% of the Italian population laments being affected by some sort of weather-related malaise.

According to recent studies, the official name is “metereopathy”, a condition that entails relevant mood swings in the behavior caused by a sudden change in weather conditions. Previously, it was largely regarded as simple pseudoscience or random “moodiness” of the subjects, yet modern behavioral science might offer precious insight to shed light on the connection between fluctuations of chemicals in the air and human cognitive response to it.

Mood swings, erratic behavior and, worst case scenario, a higher crime rate, are not the hazards one usually might come up with when thinking about air pollution. In the previous year scientists and policymakers alike have focused on tackling the immediate physical consequences of air pollution, disregarding the cognitive side-effects of nano-particles in the air. A recent research conducted in America by Kenneth X. Xu and Xin Zhou demonstrated the associations between smog and behavior of high school students. The two scientists compared two geographical areas in China, one heavily polluted and one more rural, coming to the conclusion that the behavior of high school students in the different locations was significantly different. Analyzing some common factors such as anger, negative effects on health, decrease in outdoor, decrease in social interaction and rate of interpersonal affection, the two scientists were able to connect to seemingly unrelated factors – perception of air pollution and disruptive behavior.

The Italian Pianura Padana is the most developed part of Italy, spanning from Venice to the famous industrial triangle Milan-Turin-Genua. What most people do not know about it is that it is among the most polluted areas of Europe, boasting a record concentration of Nitrogen Bioxide due to high rate of manufacturing processes and usage of chemical NPK fertilizers. The natural morphological disposition of the area, with the Alps shielding the northern part of the plain, allows the gases to stagnate locally, creating an intoxicating cocktail of poisonous substances in the air. If Kenneth X. Xu and Xin Zhou are indeed right in their reasoning, the dwellers northern Italy might not be putting in jeopardy only their lungs.

In order to create a tangible solution to the issue, smart IoT solutions are currently being developed. For instance, the Italian startup Vitesy is currently launching a line of products to foster harmony with the environment a healthier lifestyle both in the domestic and in the work sphere. Their pilot product, Natede, became world-famous last year for raising over one million dollars in just over a month. The concept behind it is merging design, nature and air-depuration technology in a single vase that detects high air pollution levels and eliminates indoor viruses, bacteria and organic agents in the room. As for the State’s provisions, the northern regions affected by the local smog have joined forces into the Prospair project, a common initiative to improve air quality control in the area. For this project, already seventeen million euros have been invested, but more funding is being provided by the European Union to further conduct research on the topic.

Given that air pollution might not just corrupt well-being, but morals and ethics as well, in the future it will be important to implement more concrete strategies in order to prevent it from having a detrimental impact on the citizens’ mental health.


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  • Dormant user Alice Ervaz


Kushal Naharki

  • Kushal Naharki says :
    Hello Alice

    I do hope that you are fine and doing great with your works.
    Thank you for your report about Something wicked this way comes: how air pollutants might be affecting your mood

    Green Cheers from Nepal :)
    Keep writing great reports.
    We are eager to read more reports from you.

    Kushal Naharki

    Posted 04-10-2019 21:40

  • Hyeongmin Mentor says :
    Hello Alice!
    Interesting report about the side effect of air pollution.
    I??m surprised there is a region suffering for serious pollution in Italy, since European countries seem to be located away from pollution.
    Fortunately, there are some movements to make situation better.
    We should save the earth for the happiness of the mankind!

    Posted 21-09-2019 00:28

Sandhya Adhikari

  • Sandhya Adhikari says :
    Hello Alice!
    This is one of the best report that I ever read about air pollution.
    Keep Writing such a great report.
    Posted 20-09-2019 16:00

  • Alice Ervaz says :
    Thank you guys for the amazing feedback! I honestly love behavioural science, so if you need further information on it, you can ask away!
    Posted 18-09-2019 18:31

Nishan kc

  • Nishan kc says :
    Hi Alice,

    Great report on new topic. Yeah, the report is so true and the real disadvantages of air pollution.
    keep writing.
    Kind regards,
    Nishan KC
    Posted 18-09-2019 02:18


  • ALOK DHAKAL says :
    This is such an awesome report
    Posted 17-09-2019 14:46

Meena Pandey

  • Meena Pandey says :
    Thank you Alice !!!
    You talked on really different topic.
    Its worth reading.
    Hope to listen more from you.
    Keep writing and shining.
    Warm regards,
    Meena Pandey
    Posted 17-09-2019 11:34

  • Eco Generation says :
    Hello Alice!
    This is such an awesome report, so we want to ask you if it's alright if we share this on our TUNZA facebook page.
    Keep up the great work :)
    Posted 17-09-2019 10:46

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