Diesel Exhaust Fumes

Reuters March 10, 2008

Inhaled diesel exhaust triggers a stress response in the brain. This could have damaging long-term effects on brain function in people living in areas with high traffic pollution.

Small particles of soot, or nanoparticles, can travel up the nose and lodge in the brain. It is conceivable that this could interfere with normal brain function and information processing.

10 male volunteers, aged 18 to 39, were placed in a room filled with exhaust from a diesel engine for one hour. After about 30 minutes, EEG brain wave patterns displayed a stress response, suggesting changes in information processing in the brain cortex.