Recent research by a Gawryluk-lead team argues for keeping air clean. The investigators “performed the first controlled human exposure study using functional MRI with an efficient order-randomized double-blind crossover study of diesel exhaust (DE) and control (filtered air; FA) in 25 healthy adults. . . . All 25 adults went through the exposures and functional MRI imaging were collected. Exposure to DE yielded a decrease in functional connectivity compared to exposure to FA, shown through the comparison of DE and FA in post-exposure measurement of functional connectivity. We observed short-term pollution-attributable decrements in default mode network functional connectivity. Decrements in brain connectivity causes many detrimental effects to the human body so this finding should guide policy change in air pollution exposure regulation. . . . Changes in brain connectivity have been associated with decreased working memory and behavioural performance, and deterioration in productivity at work (which is also associated with air pollution)."
Jodie Gawryluk, Daniela Palombo, Jason Curran, Ashleigh Parker and Chris Carlsten. 2023. “Brief Diesel Exhaust Exposure Acutely Impairs Functional Brain Connectivity in Humans: A Randomized Controlled Crossover Study.” Environmental Health, vol. 22, no. 7, https://doi.org/10.1186/s12940-023-00961-4