Beijing, Chronic exposure to air pollution
could be linked to cognitive performance, a new study in China
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