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University study adds to concerns over air quality issues

12 September 2016

Lancaster University has published its latest findings from a study of human brains.

This revealed that toxic nanoparticles were present in large quantities, leading to claims that this could be a possible cause of Alzheimer's disease.

Researchers studied the brains of 37 people of ages ranging from three to 92, who had lived in Mexico City and Manchester.

All were found to contain large quantities of magnetite nanoparticles, absorbed into the body through air pollution.

A strongly magnetic iron oxide, magnetite has been identified as a potential factor in the production of free radicals in the human brain, linked to diseases such as Alzheimer's.

The results were published in the Magnetite pollution nanoparticles in the human brain paper by the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

There are increasing concerns that air pollution is a significant factor in neurodegenerative diseases.

This has further implications for improving indoor air quality in all areas, making it an important topic for the FM sector in the running of facilities.

BSRIA chief executive Julia Evans said: "These are deeply concerning results but clearly more research and information is needed at this stage.

"But it does confirm early stories that air pollution can affect wellbeing and cognitive performance."

She further stated that "it is deeply worrying that outside air quality is the same as that inside.

"As an industry we have a role to play in providing a safe indoor environment."

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