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Traffic Pollution Lowers Kids’ IQs

Ned Lydon – Updated on Feb 25, 2008 – SCMP

Traffic Pollution Lowers Kids’ IQs

Children who live in neighbourhoods exposed to heavy traffic have lower IQs and poorer memories than children from cleaner areas, say Harvard School of Public Health researchers who studied more than 200 children in Boston aged eight to 11. The greater their exposure to so-called black carbon, a component of traffic exhaust, the lower their scores on several intelligence tests, Reuters reports. The effect was similar to that seen in children whose mothers smoked 10 cigarettes a day while pregnant, says team leader Shakira Franco Suglia. The researchers say traffic pollution may cause inflammation and affect the supply of oxygen to the brain.

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