Numerous epidemiological and toxicological studies have demonstrated that exposure to ambient PM is associated with increased heart and lung disease and death; however, little is known about the effects of PM exposure on the central nervous system. This study took advantage of a multicity project sponsored by the Health Effects Institute to compare central nervous system impacts among sites with different source contributions to ambient PM. Brain tissue from transgenic mice exposed for 6 months to concentrated ambient fine particles (CAPs) in cities with very different pollutant source profiles was examined.
In essence, the studies presented gave some indication that exposure to fine particle air pollution leads to inflammation in the brain. That's "oxidative stress." You can get more on this topic by clicking on this link.
When I used to go to the ARB meetings in Sacramento, I almost always drove (ironically causing more air pollution as I did). Necessarily, I parked in the ARB's parking lot, and can say that one bumper sticker that was not uncommon on vehicles in that particular parking lot always gave me a kick:
Remember When Sex Was Dirty And The Air Was Clean?
Even I am not that old!
The latest studies do seem to confirm what the ARB has been saying for years: air pollution is bad for you!
In fact, it can inflame your brain!