Research: Awareness of effort to tackle air pollution can reduce people's mental wellbeing

phys.org | 4/10/2019 | Staff
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Efforts by governments to tackle air pollution can reduce people's mental wellbeing by not meeting citizens' expectations, new research says.

Three researchers analyzed survey data on 25,000 people in 20 European countries, including the UK, comparing their self-reported mental wellbeing, perception of air pollution in their neighborhood, levels of sulfur dioxide pollution in the air, and their government's actions to tackle environmental problems.

Countries - Problems - UK - Sweden - Germany

They found that in countries that are more dedicated to tackling environmental problems, such as the UK, Sweden and Germany, perceived air pollution reduced people's mental wellbeing compared to other countries. In Italy, Belgium and Portugal, air pollution was worse, but people were less affected by it as they might be less aware of the problem.

On a scale of 0 to 10 for mental wellbeing, people in countries with strong environmental policies, taxes on pollution, and better organization and research, are rated 7.5 percent lower than people in countries with weaker ones. This finding came after the researchers adjusted raw data to exclude factors such as the educational level of those in the survey, in order to study perception of air pollution in isolation.

Researchers - Dr - Paola - Signoretta - Visiting

The researchers are: Dr. Paola Signoretta, Visiting Fellow at Loughborough University, UK, Dr. Veerle Buffel, Catholic University of Antwerp, Belgium, and Professor Piet Bracke, Ghent University, Belgium.

Dr. Signoretta told the European Sociological Association conference in Manchester today [Thursday 22 August] that it might be assumed that "that individuals who...
(Excerpt) Read more at: phys.org
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