Beijing, Chronic exposure to air pollution

could be linked to cognitive performance, a new study in China

suggests.

Researchers believe that the negative impact increases with

age, and affects men with less education the worst.

Over four years, the maths and verbal skills of some 20,000

people in China were monitored by the US-Chinese study.

Researchers believe the results have global relevance, with

more than 80% of the world’s urban population breathing unsafe levels

of air pollution. However, while establishing a link between pollution

and lower test scores, the study did not prove cause and effect.

The study, which includes researchers from Beijing’s Peking

University and Yale University in the US, was based on measurements

of sulphur dioxide, nitrogen dioxide and particulates smaller than 10

micrometres in diameter where participants lived. It is not clear how

much each of these three pollutants is to blame.

Carbon monoxide, ozone and larger particulates were not

included in the study.

Described as an invisible killer, air pollution causes an estimated

seven million premature deaths a year worldwide, according to the

World Health Organization (WHO), the BBC reported.

Source: Oman News Agency