Cognitive issues and air pollution may share a link

Pollutants may impact mental ability (/stock)

Natalia Welzenbach-Marcu | August 28th, 2018

A new study from China suggests a link between extensive exposure to air pollution and impacted cognitive ability.

The study, carried out by independent Chinese researchers and submitted to PNAS (Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA) for peer review, outlines the results of four years spent monitoring the basic math and verbal skills of roughly 20,000 Chinese citizens.

China currently stands as one of the most polluted developed nations, and has been aiming for a while to decrease its levels of air pollution with multiple green energy plans and vehicle restrictions.

The study measured a distinct decrease in the measured cognitive abilities of its target group, and compared these measurements to the levels of sulfur dioxide, nitrogen dioxide, and small particulate matter.

Pollutants are toxic, and the adverse effects on the body and respiratory system can impact a person’s ability to carry out tasks with focus and clarity.

It is important to note that the study, while finding a link, does not prove directly that high levels of pollution causes lowered cognitive function.

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