Published: Thu, August 30, 2018
Medical | By Vicki Mclaughlin

Air Pollution May Affect Mental Intelligence

Air Pollution May Affect Mental Intelligence

The study, conducted in China, showed a causality between inhaling excessive amounts of pollution and a significant drop in language and arithmetic, equivalent to a person losing a year in education. The research team found that verbal and math scores "decreased with increasing cumulative air pollution exposure".

BBC reports that the more pronounced effect of air pollution on older, less educated men was attributed to this group's likelihood in working outdoor manual jobs, which exposes them more directly to the polluted air.

"Air pollution reduces the level of intelligence for a year, said si Chen of the Yale school of public health, USA". Sunil Dahiya, senior campaigner, Greenpeace India, said the impact of air pollution in China is comparable to India.

Prior to this study, the psychological effects of toxic air were relatively unknown, even though air pollution is accountable for more than seven million premature deaths, each year.

In the research done recently, it was for the first time that data on air pollution and lifespan was studied together to examine the global variations and find out how they affect the overall life expectancy. There's also a bigger effect on men than on women.

Language ability was hit more than maths and men suffered more harm than women.

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'If we calculate [the loss] for those, it may be a few years of education'. "This can just show a correlation between high pollution levels and lower scores", Dr Vinay Goyal, professor of neurology at All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), said. He says there are other factors that people should be aware of - such as diet, exercise, cognitive stimulation and social interaction - and could possibly change.

Dr Xi Chen, from the Yale School of Public Health in the U.S., said this can have serious consequences for the elderly, as this is usually when the most critical financial decisions of their lifetime are made.

In Beijing, the rich are specially designing their homes and buying appliances to filter out pollutants in their air and water, while poorer residents are stuck breathing in the unfiltered smog, affecting not only their health but also, according to the new study, their cognitive abilities.

Air pollution was seen to have both a short and long-term impact on intelligence.

"If the air pollution improves from China's stage to the American EPA genuine stage, that draw that may beef up all people's education by around one 300 and sixty five days", Chen said, referring to an annual EPA genuine measurement for particulate subject that was as soon as used except 2006.

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