Air pollution leads test scores to drop over time

What is in our air

What is in our air

The study, with a sample size of almost 32,000, examined the relationship between cognitive test scores and short- and long-term air pollution exposure.

It examined the relationship between cognitive test scores and short-term and long-term exposure to dirty air.

A number of studies have shown that air pollution causes deaths in large Chinese cities. They also say that the impact of air pollution worsens with age, and affects men with low education the most - as they usually work manual jobs outside home. The analysis, which appeared yesterday (August 27) in PNAS, correlated test scores collected in a longitudinal study with official air pollution data to see how poor air quality was related to the same subjects' performance over time. The rare efforts to assess the effects on the brain of exposure to bad air for a wider population have struggled to take into account other variables that might be distorting the results.

The study consisted of carrying out math and verbal testing of 25,000 people living in 162 counties in China and then comparing those results with air pollution conditions.

Air pollution can cause harm to a person's cognitive intelligence and increase the risk of diseases such as dementia, a new study suggests.

Toxic air can cause everyone's level of education to reduce by one year - and could extend to a few years' worth of education for those aged over 64. "If we calculate the losses for these categories, it may be several years". The authors attribute this to the fact that air pollution tends to have a stronger effect on areas of brain that are relied on in verbal tests, which the authors wrote tend to be better-developed in women in the first place.

"If the air pollution improves from China's level to the American EPA standard level, that means that would improve everyone's education by around one year", Chen said, referring to an annual EPA standard measurement for particulate matter that was used until 2006. The most vulnerable group - older men. The researchers examined the same subjects in 2010 and 2014, and the arithmetic and verbal tests were meant to demonstrate "diverse dimensions, manual of the functioning of the brain", Chen said.

The decrease in the level of intelligence caused by toxic air, risky because can further provoke Alzheimer's disease or other forms of dementia.

When most people think of air pollution, they think of a bustling city with a blanket of smog over it from neighboring factories, but what many do not realize is that much of the pollution in our air comes from factory farms.

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