Pollution found to lower IQ in children

Living near a busy road or in a heavily urban area may have a direct link to lower IQ scores and other health issues in developing newborns.

A study by the Harvard School of Public Health in 2007 first linked smog and falling IQ scores in children. Researchers applied two intelligence tests to 2002 Boston area children, at ages 8 and 11. They found that children living and attending schools that experienced high levels of traffic pollution scored an average 3.7 points lower than children in less polluted area.

Scientists have established that being exposed to lead and high levels of fluoride can inhibit intelligence. But studies released in 2009 indicate that the problem begins before birth rather than later. Not only can pollution lower IQ, but evidence shows that health problems can affect the growth of infants pre-and post-birth. These issues include low birth weights, smaller head size, higher rate of miscarriage and asthma.

These results are consistent with a number of other studies that have been conducted around the world. With climate change and rising levels of greenhouse gas emissions, smog is suddenly more than a serious annoyance. It’s effecting the health and mental abilities of our children. One wonders if this is serious enough to spark world leaders to take on the serious, underlying problems of global warming? If not, what will?

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