Study: Air Pollution May Lower IQ

Monday, July 20, 2009

A study measuring the effects of air pollution on pregnant mothers suggests their children might have slightly lower IQ’s. Researchers placed air monitors on the mothers during pregnancy, tracked the children for five years, and then measured their IQ’s. Doctor Frederica Perera says those in the group exposed to heavier pollution scored about four points lower than those exposed to less pollution.

PERERA: We think these findings are of concern, because they’re of the same magnitude with low level lead – and because the particular test we used is considered a good predictor of academic performance of the children later on.

The study was conducted on women living in Washington Heights, Harlem and the South Bronx.

Researchers attempted to measure and adjust for various differences between the families, including the education levels and incomes of the parents.


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