Air pollution associated with intellectual disabilities in children


Air pollution has become the talk of the town these days. And, its ill-effects are not hidden from anybody now. One more element has come to the limelight that acts as an aid in its harmful effects. A new study conducted at the University of Sydney has revealed that air pollution is associated with intellectual disabilities in children.

During the study, the researchers analyzed the data from the U.K.’s Millennium Cohort Study, a nationally representative sample of more than 18,000 children born from 2000 to 2002. Further, they found that children with intellectual disabilities were 33 percent more likely to live in areas with high levels of diesel particulate matter. Moreover, 30 percent of them were more likely to live in areas with high levels of nitrogen dioxide, 30 percent in areas with high levels of carbon monoxide, and 17 percent in areas with high levels of sulfur dioxide.

The scientists then noticed that intellectual disability is more frequent among children living in more socioeconomically deprived areas, which tend to have higher levels of air pollution. Additionally, they said that exposure to outdoor air pollution may impede cognitive development, increasing the risk of intellectual disability.