Your child’s memory is at risk, thanks to air pollution
If you thought air pollution only affects your lungs, think again! A new study has found that exposure to air pollution can have damaging effects on children’s cognitive development and can lead to reduction in their working memory.
The study published in the journal Environmental Pollution, led by researchers from Spain’s Barcelona Institute for Global Health (ISGlobal), studied the impact of fine particulate matter (PM2.5) and black carbon on children. The research found that exposure to these pollutants was causing a decline of 4.6 per cent (in case of particulate matter) and 3.9 per cent (in case of black carbon) in the expected annual growth of working memory. The survey was carried out on 1,200 children aged between 7 and 10, from 39 schools. All these children walked to school on a daily basis.
Meanwhile, in one of a studies conducted earlier, it was found that a child inhales 20 per cent of black carbon (a pollutant directly related to traffic) daily during urban commutes.
“The results of studies have shown that these short exposures to very high concentrations of pollutants can have a disproportionately high impact on health,” said Mar Alvarez-Pedrerol, researcher at ISGlobal, in a report published in The Hindu.