Scientists find air pollution leads to a significant decline in cognition

Air pollution leads test scores to drop over time: study - Business Insider

It is said cognitive decline or impairment may lead to Alzheimer or other forms of dementia. High pollution levels were linked to significant drops in test scores, with the average impact equivalent to having lost a year of the person's education, the scientists report this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Dr Chen said that he was "surprised to see such persistent effect on cognitive health from air pollution".

"We were able to systematically identify how air pollution also substantially shortens lives around the world".

"We find that long term exposure to air pollution impedes cognitive performance in verbal and math tests". They calculated 3.5 million people died globally from breathing PM2.5 in 1990 while 4.2 million were killed by the same type of air pollution in 2015.

Researchers from Beijing's Peking University and Yale University observed the maths and verbal skills of almost 32,000 people in China over a period of four years, comparing the results to air pollution exposure, calculated from official air pollution index values.

But a new study shows dirty air can also damage our brains.

When it comes to air pollution, our minds are just as vulnerable to damage as the rest of our body, according to a new study.

In a country struggling with pollution and with nearly non-existent laws or implementation of laws promoting environmental protection, the study carried out in China is most relevant to safeguard the safety of the future generation.

"Our findings on the damaging effect of air pollution on cognition imply that the indirect effect of pollution on social welfare could be much larger than previously thought", Xiaobo Zhang, one of the study authors from the International Food Policy Research Institute and a professor from Peking University, says in a statement.

When the results were plotted based on gender and educational qualification, the researchers saw that men 44 years or older with primary school education were the most impacted. "So, even if the magnitude of impact might vary for the countries, there could be a similar impact on health", he said.

Chen said there is no shortcut to solve this issue, "Governments really need to take concrete measures to reduce air pollution". A study conducted in January this year showed that 75% of deaths related to air pollution in India, the share of rural areas.

The researchers found that the life expectancy impact of ambient PM2.5 is especially large in polluted countries such as Bangladesh (1.87 years), Egypt (1.85 years), Pakistan (1.56 years), Saudi Arabia (1.48 years), Nigeria (1.28 years), and China (1.25 years).

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