I know the answer is logically yes, because pollution is a negative it is logical to extrapolate that It affects you negatively. However, what does the evidence prove? I found a good article here about the subject. Now the article in of itself has come under criticism and rightfully so, the evidence is circumstantial at best.
That said, if we employ a little common sense its logical to conclude that pollution will enhance anxiety. From the article: “A recent study has concluded that exposure to air pollution, particularly during the first 10 years of life, could play a significant role in the development of psychiatric disorders.”
Now there are factors that we need to discuss here. As an example, if you are living in a polluted area its likely you have less means thus you can’t move to a less polluted area. Having less means might be a trigger to anxiety.
Environmental factors in living conditions, in all candor are often linked to income. If you are wealthy the chances of you living in a polluted area are less. This is part of the negative cycle of lower income, its not just that you have less to live on, but you are more likely to live in unhealthy conditions, like more polluted areas.
The study didn’t do much in the way of calculating other factors but again, if we use simple logic it makes sense to say that exposure to pollution will increase the chances of psychiatric disorders. The answer to this is obviously, pollute less. Globally more and more we are working toward less pollution.
Part of that work is to address, and minimally discuss poverty. Poverty often leads to bad habits which reproduce themselves generationally. Simply put, you learn behaviors by observing. Creating health environments for underprivileged people should be the aim of government. Other than defense, isn’t the purpose of government to enrich the lives of the people they represent?
A sustained concerted effort to improve the environment will not only prolong the life of the planet and everything on it but create the conditions by which everyone, regardless of income levels will be able to enjoy clean air. According to this study, that will lead to less psychiatric disorders and who doesn’t want that?