Last updated on Jul 7th, 2020 at 02:05 pm

Take a deep breath and hope the air is fresh – a new study has found that exposure to air pollution can negatively affect your bones

You’ve probably heard that air pollution has been linked to increased risks of lung cancer, but did you know that it can also affect your bones?

A study of over 3 700 people in India, led by the Barcelona Institute for Global Health (ISGlobal), has found a link between exposure to air pollution and poor bone health.

The authors used a locally-developed model to estimate outdoor exposure, at residence, to air pollution by fine particulate matter and black carbon. The participants also filled in a questionnaire on the type of fuel they used for cooking.

This information was linked with bone health, assessed using dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry that measured bone mass at the lumbar spine and the left hip.

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Researchers found that exposure to ambient air pollution, particularly to fine particles, was associated with lower levels of bone mass.

No correlation was found with the use of biomass fuel for cooking.

According to Otavio T. Ranzani, first author of the study, inhalation of the polluting particles could lead to bone mass loss through the oxidative stress and inflammation caused by air pollution.

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Source: Barcelona Institute for Global Health (ISGlobal) via

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