In the tell-us-something-we-don't-know department, USC researchers today declared that freeway air might just be bad for your brain.
Unfortunately, according to the study, even short-term exposure had a bad effect on little mice brains. Some even came down with memory loss and Alzheimer's disease.
According to a USC statement on the research:
The mind-numbing toxin is not an exhaust gas, but a mix of tiny particles from burning of fossil fuel and weathering of car parts and pavement, according to the study to be published Thursday, April 7 in the leading journal Environmental Health Perspectives.
What's really cool about this study is that the researchers created a freeway-like environment within a lab (complete with homeless encampments?).
"Significant damage" to mice neurons was observed along with premature aging and other bad stuff.
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Senior author Caleb Finch says of the freeway particles at-hand:
You can't see them, but they are inhaled and have an effect on brain neurons that raises the possibility of long-term brain health consequences of freeway air.