Pollution Leads to Suicide

Did you know? There is actually a correlation between suicide rates and the amount of pollution in the area?

Several epidemiological studies have concluded that an increased amount of air pollutants, including Nitrogen dioxide (NO2), sulfur dioxide (SO2), and carbon monoxide (CO), are associated with suicide (Kim et al, 2010).The studies were conducted using time-stratified case-crossover analysis, which is considered the least biased method in the case-crossover design and is also commonly used to examine short-term associations between air pollution and public health.  The study examined the correlation between pollution– specifically air pollution­–and suicide in 10 major cities in South Korea, Taiwan, and Japan. The findings were astounding. Higher risk of suicide was associated with higher levels of NO2, SO2, PM10, and PM10−2.5 over multiple days.


On a city-by-city basis, higher levels of air pollution were not always associated with higher suicide risk; in some cities, the association was even reversed, with increases in air pollution associated with lower risks of suicide. But when up to 30 years of information for PM10, NO2, and SO2 was combined across all 10 cities, higher average exposures on the same day and over the previous 1–3 days were associated with a higher daily suicide risk.