Air pollution affects our intelligence

Constant exposure to polluted air may affect our cognitive abilities. According to new research, the long-term impact of polluted air can be equivalent to losing one year of schooling.

According to estimatesoAccording to the World Health Organization, about seven million die each year due to poor air qualityow osob worldwide. 95 percent. of the population breathes polluted air. The scope of the chorob caused by this is huge. But researchers from China and the U.S. indicate that polluted air affects not only physical health, but also our cognitive abilities.

According to scientistsow from Peking University and Yale University, high levels of pollution in the air lead to significant declines in theow resultow testoin language and mathematics. Equivalent to the loss of one year in education – calculated the researchers. Negative impact increases with age, and worst affects men with lower education.

The results of a study by a US-Chinese team of researchersow was published in „Proceedings of the National Academy of Science”.

– Polluted air could cause everyone to reduce their swoj education level by one year. We know that this effect is worse for osob the elderly, especially those over 64, for men and osob with low education. If you calculate the loss to these osob, it could be several years of education – said Xi Chen of the Yale School of Public Health, cooroving research.

The effect of air pollution on cognitive ability has been studied in China. Over a four-year period, the mathematical and verbal skills of some 20,000 people were testedob roof different genders and in roFATHER AGE. Although the Chinese studyow, researchers are convinced that the results have global significance.

The study was based on measurements of sulfur dioxide, nitrogen dioxide and particles less than 10 micrometers in diameteroin the air. Its participants live in such conditions. However, it is not clear whoore compound of these three is responsible for cognitive decline. Carbon monoxide, ozone and larger particles were not included in the study.

„We provide evidenceow that the effect of air pollution on verbal and math tests becomes more pronounced and increases with age. Specificolnie affects men and osob less educated” – wrote the authors of the study.

Previous studies have linked air pollution to the occurrence of illob of neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia. Small particles of pollutants can penetrate directly into the mozgu by changing its chemistry. The researchers linked roalso link air pollution with depression and other mental disorders.

– Governments really need to take concrete action to reduce air pollution. This can benefit the human capital, ktory is one of the most important drivers of economic growth – pointed out Chen.

SourceoSource: The Guardian, BBC, fot. CC BY-SA 2.0/ Flickr/ Global Panorama