BOB HIRSHON (host):
Polluting minds. I’m Bob Hirshon and this is Science Update.
Fine particles of soot may be a major cause of juvenile delinquency, according to University of Southern California epidemiologist Diana Younan reporting in the Journal of Abnormal Psychology.
DIANA YOUNAN (University of Southern California):
These are so tiny that when we inhale them, they’re able to travel deep into our lungs or even deposit themselves into our brain.
They then cause inflammation that can damage the central nervous system. The researchers found that air quality was more important than social status, race, and other factors as a contributor to teen delinquency. Younan says completely avoiding this pollution isn’t an option for families who live near highways or power plants. But she recommends ensuring that heating and air conditioning filters are changed regularly, and that children and teens stay indoors when air quality is at its worst. I’m Bob Hirshon, for AAAS, the science society.
Story by Bob Hirshon