While it is general knowledge that inhaling poisonous fumes from traffic tailpipes can lead to cancer, respiratory problems and heart disease, a new study has found that the fumes also affect the mental capacity of those who inhale them.
University of Southern California's medical epidemiologist Jiu-Chiuan Chen conducted the study analyzing the effect of traffic fumes on the brains of more than 7,500 women in 22 different states in the US and found that there is a strong circumstantial evidence that the fumes do affect the brain.
Recent studies by researchers in the Netherlands have found that breathing traffic fumes for just 30 minutes can trigger electrical signals in the regions of the brain that are responsible for behavior, personality and decision-making and often lead to changes that are usually associated with stress.
Chen revealed that there are a number of studies that are looking into the effects of traffic fumes on the brains. "There are more and more scientists trying to find whether and why exposure to traffic exhaust can damage the human brain. The human data are very new", Chen said.