Doctor discusses Utah’s inversion after study links urban pollution to toxic particle deposits in brain

Posted at 2:48 PM, Sep 08, 2016
and last updated 2016-09-08 16:56:41-04

SALT LAKE CITY -- The inversion air many Utahns are breathing leaves toxic particles in the brain, which has been linked to neuro-degenerative diseases like Alzheimer's, according to a new health study in the National Academy of Science.

Researchers found microscopic nanospheres that could be causing seriously life threatening diseases.

"This study provides proof that those particles that we all hate, that we all have to breathe when we have one of our inversions, actually end up inside our brain," said Dr. Brian Moench, President of Utah Physicians for a Healthy Environment.

Moench said the findings from the new study out of the U.K. support a position he has held for some time.

"For about the last five years, the medical research has started to accumulate that, in fact, air pollution harms the brain as much as it does other organs," he said.

The study found people who live in large urban places have a magnetic iron oxide compound in their brains, and unusually high concentrations of that compound are also found in the brains of patients with Alzheimer's disease.

"It should be a major concern to everyone who lives here," Moench said. "It should be taken seriously by our law makers, and certainly adds tremendous impact to all our other medical research about why we need to clean up our air."

The study took 37 brain autopsies from people ages 3 to 90 and who lived in Mexico City and Manchester. They found millions of these particles per gram of brain tissue.

"These particles are more likely to be associated with industrial combustion of fossil fuels, smokestacks," Moench said. "Locally here the refineries, smelters."