A study that tested the effect of dust and fuel particles on human scalp cells has revealed that air pollution could cause hair loss.
Researchers found that exposure to common pollutants reduced the levels of four proteins responsible for hair growth and hair retention, The Independent reported.
It also showed that the effect increased when the amount of airborne particles increased, suggesting that those living in cities or close to industrial works are at greater risk of going bald.
Air pollution has already been shown to increase the risk of cancer and heart and lung diseases and is estimated to cause 4.2 million premature deaths every year. It has also been linked to depression and low fertility as well.
The latest study, which was funded by a South Korean cosmetics company, is said to be the first to find a relationship between airborne pollutants and hair loss. However, lead researcher Hyuk Chul Kwok, who revealed the results at the 28th European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology Congress in Madrid, said further research was required to confirm the effect outside the laboratory.
During the Congress, Kwok said: "Our research looked at the science behind what happens when the cells found at the base of hair follicles are exposed to common air pollutants. The research was undertaken in a laboratory and further research needs to be undertaken to understand just how quickly this affects people regularly exposed to pollutants in their day-to-day lives."
"It is possible to hypothesize that at certain levels of exposure this could lead to baldness, but further population-based research needs to be undertaken to confirm this," he added.
The study involved exposing human follicle cells to different concentrations of fine dust particles with a diameter of 10 micrometers or smaller and tiny diesel particles.
This article has been adapted from its original source.
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