Previously viewed as manifestation of evil, criminality is now being studied as a cause of prevalent factors in a criminal’s environment. There have been recent studies linking the increase of criminal elements with how it is being influenced by society. But a new study is putting the blame on a more chemical level – air pollution.
Violent Crimes and Air Pollution – The Correlation
The National Bureau for Economic Research, according to its recent study, is trying to make a link between the rise of criminal incidents with the increase in air pollution levels. Information was gathered from meteorological data and the evaluated crime records from the Chicago Police Department. It shows that there is a significant increase in violent crimes in neighborhoods that are on the receiving end of blowing winds that carry tailpipe exhaust coming from major roads.
Other Affecting Factors
The study also mentions that other affecting factors, like income, may play in the increase in violent crime occurrences. But the statistics show that low-income neighborhoods that are usually found near major roads, making them more exposed to air pollution, experience 2.2 percent more violent crimes when the wind is blowing towards them. The rise and fall of temperatures was also considered, but the study points out that they do not significantly affect violent crime upsurge.
Smog and Its Effect
The study is still inconclusive and the strengths of the theories and arguments are still being discussed and ascertained. Researchers still haven’t determined whether nitrogen oxides or carbon monoxide, two most prevalent chemicals in air pollution, are the ones to be blamed. Although not yet proven, the paper suggests that the presence of air pollution may increase aggression, irritation, and also cognitive impairment. These factors may lead to loss of self-control, resulting in violent and impulsive outbursts.
This is a good start for other related studies linking criminal behaviors with the increase in pollution and even climate change.
Broward Criminal Defense Lawyer – Kenneth Padowitz
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