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One Planet: The impact of air pollution on mental health

Melanie Meade has become the face of clean air advocacy in her town of Clairton, Pennsylvania, which sees high levels of both air pollution and mental illness. (Photo: Njaimeh Njie)

We speak with Kristina Marusic about her reporting on the mental health impacts of air pollution.

A massive 2019 study, which looked at mental health data from 151 million people in the United States and 1.4 million people in Denmark and found that long periods of increased air pollution in urban areas were linked to a 16% increase in cases of bipolar disorder and a 6% increase in depression diagnoses.


Kristina Marusic , award winning reporter for Environmental Health News, covering issues related to environmental health and justice with a focus on Western Pennsylvania

Web Resources:

Environmental Health News: Air pollution can alter our brains in ways that increase mental illness risk

Malihe Razazan is the senior producer of KALW's daily call-in program, Your Call.