Research shows that air pollution may push up social crime rates

Research shows that air pollution may push up social crime rates

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According to the British ‘Independent’ report, although the pollution problem makes people very dissatisfied with it, its biggest impact is far more than this. Recently, scientists believe that areas with serious pollution are also areas with high crime rates. There is a certain relationship between them. So they studied it. Evan Herhnstadt, a postdoctoral researcher at Harvard University’s Environmental Center, and Erich Muehlegger, an assistant professor at the University of California’s Davis Center, conducted research in Chicago, USA.

Chicago is one of the most polluted cities in the United States, and car exhaust emissions are the primary pollutant. Their research revolves around several important interstate highways in Chicago. First, they obtained more than 2 million criminal records from the Chicago Police Department from 2001 to 2012. These data include the date and place of the crime. Then, they collected meteorological data during this period, including wind direction, wind power, etc., through the change of wind direction to determine which communities in the vicinity suffered the greatest pollution.

Through a comparative analysis of these data, the researchers found that for a community, when it is at the upper vent (meaning lower pollution from the road), it is at the lower estuary of the interstate highway (meaning It suffered from more serious pollution) and the crime rate increased by 2.2%. However, the author points out that this association only applies to violent crimes, such as suicides, shootings, assaults, etc. Pollution has no effect on changes in property crime rates.

They also studied these areas when they were uncontaminated, making scientists the only factor in increasing local crime rates, unlike other traditional factors that affect crime, such as poverty.

They also believe that violent crime is driven by nitrogen oxides rather than carbon monoxide, and is most affected during warm spring and summer. Although the researchers are currently unable to explain exactly why this is, Herrnstadt told the Washington Post that ‘we believe that when you come into contact with heavily polluted air, it will irritate you or otherwise affect your ability to restrain impulses. It causes your cognition to be damaged.’

In addition, serious air pollution can also cause difficulties in the resolution of education, bronchial problems and brain damage.

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