Background Poor air quality is associated with poor health. Little attention is given to the complex array of environmental exposures and air pollutants that affect mental health during the life course. Aims We gather interdisciplinary expertise and knowledge across the air pollution and mental health fields. We seek to propose future research priorities and how to address them. Method Through a rapid narrative review, we summarise the key scientific findings, knowledge gaps and methodological challenges. Results There is emerging evidence of associations between poor air quality, both indoors and outdoors, and poor mental health more generally, as well as specific mental disorders. Furthermore, pre-existing long-term conditions appear to deteriorate, requiring more healthcare. Evidence of critical periods for exposure among children and adolescents highlights the need for more longitudinal data as the basis of early preventive actions and policies. Particulate matter, including bioaerosols, are implicated, but form part of a complex exposome influenced by geography, deprivation, socioeconomic conditions and biological and individual vulnerabilities. Critical knowledge gaps need to be addressed to design interventions for mitigation and prevention, reflecting ever-changing sources of air pollution. The evidence base can inform and motivate multi-sector and interdisciplinary efforts of researchers, practitioners, policy makers, industry, community groups and campaigners to take informed action. Conclusions There are knowledge gaps and a need for more research, for example, around bioaerosols exposure, indoor and outdoor pollution, urban design and impact on mental health over the life course.



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BJPsych Open





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School of Biomedical Sciences