Is Air Pollution Linked to Weight Gain?



The known health effects of air pollution are vast, with various types of pollution causing damage to just about every part of the human body. While most people are aware of long- and short-term effects of air pollution on the respiratory system (which can include respiratory irritation in the short term and higher risk for developing respiratory infections and diseases in the long term), you might not know that chronic exposure to air pollution may be causing you to put on weight or be preventing you from losing it.

Existing research has established a correlation between higher levels of pollution and higher BMI amongst local residents. A recent long-term study has uncovered a link between ambient air pollution and weight gain. Specifically, the presence of particulate matter in the air is linked to a significant increase in weight over time.

In this article, clean air experts from Camfil, a global leader in the research, engineering, and manufacturing of premium air filtration technology, explain the findings of the new study.

What is Particulate Matter?

To fully understand the methodology, findings, and implications of this study, it is important to understand what particulate matter is. Particulate matter is one of two main categories of air pollution (the other being gaseous, or molecular, pollution).

Particulate matter is defined as any solid or liquid particles suspended in the air. The composition of particulate matter can vary greatly. The...

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