A Dutch study analyzing the effects of
soot particles on human brain functions has made its way into the journal
Particle and Fibre Toxicology
, a favorite light read around the Autoblog offices. The research indicates that not only do nanoparticles from diesel fumes make their way up the nasal passages and into your brain, yes
brain, but they also trigger a mental stress response. This is observed through brain wave activity, which, when stressed, reacts by altering typical information processing procedures within the cerebral cortex. While we skipped out on post-Doctoral work to wrench on our rides, we know that anything messing with our cerebral cortex can't be good.
The data was collected through ten volunteer subjects placed in a diesel exhaust filled room for one hour (sound like fun?), that mimicked the environment of a busy street or parking garage. Researchers then monitored the cranium activity of the human lab rats via an electroencephalograph. The findings lead to the conclusion that further investigation is necessary in order to determine the long-term versus short-term impact of these pollutants on human memory and intelligence.