LOS ANGELES (CBS) — New research suggests that pollution in Southern California may be harming our brains.

We already know that pollution can do harm to our lungs, but research from the University of Southern California suggests that residents here are even worse off thanks to our traffic-polluted freeways.

“It’s not like what you see in smog and the days when you don’t get to see the mountains,” says Todd Morgan a researcher with USC referring to the type of pollution investigated in the study.

Researchers looked at the smallest of particles that are not visible to the naked eye. Air samples were taken from the 110 Freeway near USC and exposed to mice over a 10 week exposure period, over about 150 hours. The results showed brain damage — keeping neurons from developing — which could eventually lead to memory loss, even developmental disorders in children. According to researchers there is suggestive evidence, it could happen to us too.

“I’m hoping that with further research, we can perhaps be able to figure out additional ways of lowering the effect of these particulates, other than just staying away from traffic because that’s really not doable,” says Morgan.

(©2011 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)

Comments (220)
  1. AnneP says:

    Boy, brain damage, huh? That really explains California.

  2. Californium says:

    Did they at least get a scientist for this study who didn’t buy his PhD off of the internet?

    Oh, this just in, water can lead to death by asphyxiation in large doses!

  3. snowcloud says:

    This explains the high number of liberal voters in California.

  4. spawnn44 says:

    There next study will be from a government grant of $5,000,000 to study if AGW affects the number of beats per second the annibelle humingbird flaps its wings.

  5. Craig W says:

    Traffic pollution giving Californians brain damage: Well that explains a lot of things. Now we know how Moonbeam got elected.

  6. jewhader says:

    We should gift kalifornia to mexico.

  7. Buckwheat says:

    Gas fumes cause brain damage ? Now I know what Ozzy Osborn’s problem is !

  8. Bob in Merced CA says:

    Calfifornia is on it’s death bed. Only a matter of time, a short time befroe it is bankrupt and a carbon copy of a Mexican getto run by drug cartels and street gangs.
    The libs will be thrilled.

  9. criticaltheory says:

    The Fifth Column Media is packed from top to bottom with COMMUNISTS.

  10. Dan reilly says:

    It’s worth a long thought when one listerns to the rants and ravings of many Hollywood types, Alec Baldwin must spend lot’s of time in traffic, he’d make a good subject for deep study, in my opinioin.

    1. Ray says:

      he’d make a better necropsy subject.

  11. Noonzie says:

    uh oh.. Obama might want to reconsider his efforts for cleaner power. Apparently polluted brains are what keep democrats elected.

  12. Brian says:

    Ultra Fine Particulate Smog (UFPS) IS the problem and it’s causing the memory loss and alzheimers disease and sickness. The autos made over the last 15 years emit ultra fine particulate chemical toxins that pass by the catalytic converter and directly enter our bloodstream when breathed into the lungs. GOOGLE: “Ultra Fine Particulate Smog”. The long term solution to this disaster is hydrogen powered cars and trucks..

    1. SammieJo says:

      everything we breathe or eat eventually goes through our liver, so is there an abundance of liver disease in Calif too?

  13. LawSudent says:

    But legalized mrijuana doesn’t harm their brains!?!

  14. SammieJo says:

    How can we take this report seriously, isn’t USC in Calif? Are the people who did the study brain-damaged?
    What a bunch of tools! lol

  15. mistah j says:

    OK. Soooo…
    (1) The brilliant scientists and engineers I work with from polluted hellholes of India and China are brain-damaged, but they just don’t realize it.
    (2) The great technical minds that emerged from the coal-dusted cities of the Industriial Revolution were actually cretins, but, again just didn’t know it.
    (3) USC “researchers” now admit that the finest brains in America come from the clean-aired heartland of the Midwest (Flyover Country!!!)

    Could you guys please find real jobs?

  16. get It? says:

    Speaking of dragon flies, ice cream has no bones.

  17. tlmoon2112 says:

    Makes sense when you consider that CA is 48th out of 50 in education. Theyre literally some of THE dumbest people on the planet and the way they vote shows it. So glad I got the hell out of that hell hole of a state.

    1. Losersayswhat? says:

      We’re glad you’re gone too loser.
      Must be nice to be such a genius as yourself.
      Don’t make up stats dude, especially when they are that ridiculous.
      Idiot.

  18. bobby barre says:

    That explains alot!

  19. amplitude jones says:

    well, if there is a reason they keep electing the space alien henry waxpigman, I can stop HATING THEM… But I still want them all dead.

  20. bobby barre says:

    That certainly does not come as any surprise.

  21. AnneP says:

    Bring on the lawsuits!

  22. FN Cee says:

    Clearly, this is a “no brainer” …

  23. Mike says:

    The fools in CA pay extra for MTBE’s and other additives. Yes there brain damaged for being so easily led around by the nose while being kicked in the ass, they get off on being ignorant. CA is a state of Homer Simpsons, look how they vote, they deserve ever bit of suffering they get. I for one have no pity for these lemmings. Good luck and good riddance!

  24. Me says:

    Look at all the drudge freako’s commenting on here. Get a life.

    1. txguy71 says:

      Well, who needs to get a life?

  25. Logo4245 says:

    This certainly explains how Nancy Pelosi stays in office.

  26. rjsst says:

    Obama must have spent alot of time around pollution, he for sure is brain damaged. Wait he IS POLLUTION

  27. AnthrDemLobbyist says:

    No kidding the smog causes brain damage. Look at how many people in CA voted for Obama. Got the same problem in Chicago and New York.

  28. Red Ruffansore says:

    At least now we know why you vote like morons

  29. Jim M says:

    Wow! I knew taking drugs couldn’t have caused all that behavior.

  30. OrneryEagle says:

    …now we Know what’s wrong with Pelosi, Brown, Boxer, etc, etc.

  31. txguy71 says:

    That might explain the voting preferences in L.A. I was born there and lived there for 37 years before escaping to Texas. I managed not to become a liberal, but did acquire a taste for tofu. Fortunately, I moved into a part of evil, racist, capitalist Texas where there are excellent Asian restaurants to assuage the obvious affects of L.A. smog…

    1. txguy71 says:

      That was “effects.” I knew that. Sorry, L.A. schools educated me, too…

  32. SamHouston says:

    Come on now, there isnt a thing wrong with Texas that keeping all the fruits, nuts and flakes from the rest of the country coming here wouldnt cure….

  33. elda says:

    I think it is important that every brain in southern CA be taken out and fully checked for damage and when that has been done everyone in San Francisco should be done too.

  34. Ray says:

    If this study is true what accounts for the brain damaged voters in San Franscisco?

  35. firstpoppa says:

    So that explains voting for Pelosi, Feinstein, Boxer and Brown; in-state tuition for illegals, and “sanctuary cities”.

  36. pyeatte says:

    The fumes are not from cars…it’s from all the weed.

  37. AlfredHuseeinNeuman says:

    How in the world could they tell So Cal people had brain damage? After all, They’re all liberals anyway.

  38. J L King says:

    Finally… an explanation!

  39. Personal plates says:

    fake tree huggers would rather sit on the freeway for four hours rather than carpool just so everyone can see them in their bmw with their dopey personalized plates that say something like LUV2SURF or IMRICH…… That’s ok, the whole state will be completely Mexican soon enough, with some small gated communities on the coast housing the whites. oops!, it’s already that way. Smog was worse then today??????? Riverside disagrees, and fly in and cut through the smog with the jet engines.bye bye Spicoli and the rest of the SC burnouts.

  40. denis says:

    Really? Pollution causes brain damage? And I thought it was because you are all kool aid drinking liberals.

  41. Michael Johnson says:

    MissouriKyle-Reaganite
    These is liberal lies lies preptrated by the communist elitists in office who want to enslave the world and tax everything!!!! USC is a leftist school! that porchmonkey NObama hussein secretly hates america and wants to force abortion and green taxes on all of us.. there taxing OXYGEN FOR GODS SAKE!!!!! vote him out now! vote for a commensense constitutionalest conservative so we can end this madness! vote vote vote!!!!!!

    good sir while I will not harp on your freedom of speech I would only implore you to understand that when you use words geared towards racism or insulting someone else with words it hinders our cause to get the guy out of office. I would suggest we focus on bringing people the truth and the truth is he has no idea what he is doing and is a puppet for higher powers. We don’t have to change the story over and over again if we just tell the truth. Sooner or later he will run out of lies and the ones told thus far will catch up to him. USA is Obama proof its going to take a lot more than him to bring us down thats for sure.

  42. JayPhil says:

    It’s a good thing that I’m not a mouse!

  43. Alice Polarbear says:

    Of COURSE they are brain-damaged! Look at how they vote.
    Air pollution must be even worse in San Francisco. They are even more stupid and evil. Look at the trash THEY vote in!

  44. ditchdigger2 says:

    They are going to starve, before polution kills them. I am a Kalivornykn native son, we have stopped all productivity, industrial, ag., mining, timber, we would opt to let it burn, hydro electric power, the most efficent, safest power here is, with flood control as a byproduct. Our coast has hundreds of years of untapped oil and gas supplies, our deserts have untold mineral deposites, that have been locked up in “environmently sensitive areas”. We are fighting wars for assets we already have, why? We are being minipulated and used by our own administration, and at least four administrations prior.

  45. Egfrow says:

    Libs! Stop using MLK as your political sword. He was a Republican. check it out for yourselves.

  46. B Forrest says:

    Maybe that’s what’s causing you to keep voting for extreme liberal policies and politicians

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