Research

Air Pollution Causes Rising Crime

Inhalation of dirty air may cause younausea But, according to new research, it can also make you more aggressive. This is the conclusion made by scientists from the University of Colorado. A team of experts found a link between short-term exposure to contaminated air and aggressive human behavior, such as aggravated assaults and other violent crimes. The study is published in the journal Journal of Environmental Economics and Management.

Violent crimes may be due to air pollution

How does dirty air affect a person?

We have repeatedly written that air pollutionis a major problem worldwide. According to experts, air pollution causes the death of about 5.5 million people every year. Moreover, a connection was found between dirty air and the occurrence of mental illness in children, as well as a decrease in overall life expectancy throughout the world. The fact is that the air of most cities contains a large amount of harmful substances - methane, ozone, carbon dioxide, etc.

Scientists have found that inhaling contaminatedair not only contributes to the development of diseases such as pulmonary emphysema, but can also make a person more aggressive. The results were obtained after analyzing the daily crime statistics of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), and after studying a detailed map of daily air pollution in the United States for eight years.

This is what air pollution looks like in India

Researchers note that this is not only aboutphysical abuse. Polluted air generally makes people aggressive, which means that people are more prone to quarrels and verbal abuse. Thus, dirty air significantly exacerbates a variety of situations.

Want to learn more about the causes of violent crime? Subscribe to our channel in Yandex.Zen and keep abreast of what science knows about serial killers.

Where are most crimes committed?

For the study, scientists conducted a crossanalysis of three very detailed data sets: daily crime reports; daily air pollution data from 2006-2013 and daily data on smoke accumulations from fires, which can be seen in satellite images. According to the researchers, 83% of the crimes that the FBI considers "violent" were classified as attacks in criminal databases. During the study, scientists observed where the crimes were committed - on the street or indoors.

The results of the study are alarming, aren't they?

The results of the study showed that 56%violent crime and 60% of attacks occurred indoors. Also, on days with the highest air pollution, the number of violent crimes increased by 1.4%. Almost all crimes were qualified as attacks. The study also found that an increase in exposure to a substance such as ozone was associated with an increase in violent crimes of 0.97% or an increase in attacks of 1.15%.

At the same time, experts note that changes inAir pollution measurements did not have a statistically significant effect on other categories of crime. The authors of the work do not claim that the discovered connection is evidence that exposure to dirty air leads to aggression. The results of the study only revealed a correlation between violent crimes and the level of air pollution, experts say.