Pollution Alters Your DNA


Most people know that breathing in polluted air isn’t good for their health. It can irritate the lungs, cause allergic reactions, trigger asthmatic attacks and is considered to be a contributing factor in lung cancer development.

But now a new study also indicates that breathing polluted air can interfere with your DNA, altering and reprogramming genes and creating an increase risk of developing cancer and other diseases. And it doesn’t even have to be long term exposure – the study found that it only took three days to alter the DNA of the steel-foundry workers participating in the study.

Before and after blood samples from the workers showed a significant change slowing down in the methylation  (a biological process in which genes are organized into different chemical groups) rate of four genes that researchers think act as tumor suppressors.

While it’s true that steel foundry workers are exposed to about 10 times more particulate matter than most of us, researchers say the same changes can occur in city dwellers.

The good news is that researchers believe that these changes in DNA methylation are reversible, possibly with something as simple as folic acid, a vitamin that”Ëœs already found in many foods.

Image: A6U571N

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One thought on “Pollution Alters Your DNA

  1. Born and grew up in a small copper smelting town in northern Canada, Most my peers dead now, of various diseases, mostly cancers, some rare forms, some total body invasions, but few of my generation get past 60 years old without serious health problems. Sulphide ores laced with arsenic, selenium, lead, gold, silver and copper were roasted, the smoke and fumes from which fell on the town most the time, The company used to offer free car-wash coupons on bad days, since the goop that fell from their stacks and all over the village, gardens and cars would eat holes in most paint-jobs in a short period of time if not washed off! This plant started in the 1920’s, saw its mostly immigrant population die of silicosis of the lungs, caused by mining this ore, then my generation, that were born and stayed there, are mostly dead of dying from unexplained cancers??? The next generation, the new predominantly francophone, separatist generation, have invaded our town, taken our homes as we died off, and since the plant itself is now closed for the most part, enjoy the civilization we built for them, and in good health! No more sulfur and poison gas on the streets = healthier people. A genetics study on the children of those of us life-time residents of this strange set of circumstances might show problems, but the biggest problem would be to find off-spring! We did not do well in that respect. A study was made of this area in the 1960’s and a large hospital research team found us to be the cancer center, and a huge anomaly in North America. That study was ‘Hushed” by many forces, but did get to press one anyway. Growing up in Rouyn/Noranda, in the 50’s and 60’s wasn’t all bad, as long as you didn’t know any better!


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