27 August 2018 The Guardian’s Damian Carrington and Lily Kuo: Air pollution causes ‘huge’ reduction in intelligence, study reveals

27 August 2018 by Jason Quinn
So air pollution is not only stupid but makes you stupid especially if you are male and older. Wow! Sometimes you can’t make this stuff up. This article in The Guardian is pretty scary especially as air pollution is an issue in many NZ cities in the winter. As we spend much of our time indoors most of folks exposure to outdoor air pollution actually occurs indoors. This makes filtering your ‘fresh’air supply sound important if you live in a city or near a busy roadway.
“Air pollution causes a “huge” reduction in intelligence, according to new research, indicating that the damage to society of toxic air is far deeper than the well-known impacts on physical health.”
“They found the longer people were exposed to dirty air, the bigger the damage to intelligence, with language ability more harmed than mathematical ability and men more harmed than women.”
The actual reference article summary is similarly blunt – dirty air makes folks score lower on intelligence tests
“This paper examines the effect of both cumulative and transitory exposures to air pollution for the same individuals over time on cognitive performance by matching a nationally representative longitudinal survey and air quality data in China according to the exact time and geographic locations of the cognitive tests. We find that long-term exposure to air pollution impedes cognitive performance in verbal and math tests. We provide evidence that the effect of air pollution on verbal tests becomes more pronounced as people age, especially for men and the less educated. The damage on the aging brain by air pollution likely imposes substantial health and economic costs, considering that cognitive functioning is critical for the elderly for both running daily errands and making high-stake decisions.”
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