As pollution rates increase all over the world, the question of its impact on human health arises. Each pollutant has different effects, some immediate and visible, others delayed and more insidious. One of the issues some people may be concerned with is if air pollution increases the chance of losing hair.
The greatest experts in dermatology are currently trying to answer this concern. This is opportunity for teams of researchers to argue that air pollution could be the cause of hair loss in humans.
Today, the link between air pollution and certain cancers or other serious illnesses is well established. However, there is still only a limited amount of work on the effects of this pollution on the skin or on the hair.
But some experts and researchers argue today that pollution could be responsible for the loss of our hair. These researchers found a new effect caused by air pollution: exposure to pollutants in the air could possibly increase hair loss, or even start that process.
Some of these researchers used cells hair follicles cells that they extracted from human skin. These cells were exposed to various pollutants of micro-particles, replication the air conditions found in our cities with mixtures of solid and liquid pollutant particles, called fine particles.
The researchers exposed the cells to a type of particulate matter known as PM10, particles comparable to dust with a diameter of 10 micrometers or more. PM10 is produced by the combustion of fossil fuels, including petroleum, diesel and solid fuels such as coal, oil and biomass, from vehicles and factories. Industrial activities also produce PM10, construction, mining or the manufacture of construction materials such as cement, ceramics or bricks.
To reach this conclusion, they studied cells of the human scalp that specialists call the dermal cells of the papilla. They attach the follicle to the head and control the growth of the hair. Their proteins carry orders for start-up, maintenance and end of growth of our hair.
Experts estimate that air pollution kills about 4.2 million people a year and some researchers are now getting interested in its effects on our hair.
The studies center around the essential proteins affected. By exposing these cells to various concentrations of fine particles, they discovered that the levels of catenin, the protein responsible for triggering hair growth, fell in the presence of PM10. the particles with a diameter of less than 10 micrometers, and of particles diesel.
Levels of three other proteins responsible for hair growth and hair retention – cyclin D1, cyclin E and CDK2 – were also reduced after exposure to PM10 and diesel particles. All in a way dependent on the level of pollution. These results will however have to be confirmed by additional work on a real population and not on cells in the laboratory, but these preliminary show how pollution can affect human beings in many ways.
This shows that there are many waste management benefits if they can help reduce pollution. It is getting clearer that pollutants can have many pernicious effects on health, so reducing pollution, limiting waste creation and controlling greenhouse gases can have a positive effect on our well being.