Comment Features

Mums for Lungs raise alarm about air pollution link to dementia

The Barnet clean air group has teamed up with dementia campaigners writes Sara Hall

Sara Hall of Barnet Mums for Lungs and Michelle Reshef campaigning for clean air
Sara Hall and Michelle Reshef

Barnet Mums for Lungs have teamed up with Dementia Prevention UK to raise awareness about the link between air pollution and dementia. Many people are aware that air pollution can cause or worsen asthma, lung disease and other illnesses but the link to dementia is less known.

Scientific studies have concluded that ‘there are plausible links between exposure to specific air pollutants and dementia.’ Another report by the Royal College of Physicians which examined the lifelong impact of air pollution also concluded that there was ‘emerging evidence that air pollution adversely affects both the developing and the ageing brain’.

Michelle Reshef, founder of Dementia Prevention UK, said: “At Dementia Prevention UK we are all about teaching people about lifestyle choices that can help reduce the risk of developing dementia. But we must also acknowledge that environmental factors like air pollution can play a role in cognitive decline. Let’s all work together to clean up the air we breathe.”

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Elizabeth Wan of Barnet Mums for Lungs said: “As a parent and an NHS doctor I have seen the impact air pollution has on my own children, with their frequent chesty coughs, and the elderly and vulnerable patients I care for. We need decisive action to clean up Barnet’s air for the sake of all our residents.”

Professor Claudia Cooper, who leads the Centre for Psychiatry and Mental Health at Queen Mary University of London said: “Our chances of getting dementia, and those of our children, are affected by the environments in which we live. I am delighted to see this initiative to raise awareness of how the decisions we make as a society now around air quality will affect our future health and that of subsequent generations.”

To find out more about how air pollution harms health see here. You can get in touch with Dementia Prevention UK by following this link.

Sara Hall is a member of Barnet Mums for Lungs

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