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air pollution and psychotic experiences in young people

It has been established that urban living is associated with an increased risk of psychosis but untangling the complexities of the biological, social and environmental factors at play can be difficult. Researchers from King’s College London have, for the first time, looked at whether air pollution is associated with increased risk of psychotic experiences in young people across England and Wales and whether air pollution levels can explain, in part, the association between urban living and psychotic experiences.

Researchers were invited to the SMC to discuss:

  • Is air pollution associated with psychotic experiences in adolescents?
  • If so, which pollutants are involved and how large is the risk?
  • What is a psychotic experience and how does it relate to mental health issues later in life?
  • How sure can we be that it’s air pollution and not another factor that explains this association?
  • What does this mean for young people living in urban areas?


Dr Helen Fisher, Reader in Developmental Psychopathology, Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience, King’s College London

Dr Joanne Newbury, ESRC Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience, King’s College London

Prof Frank Kelly, Professor of Environmental Health, King’s College London

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