Research: Air pollution makes us stupid
The latest Chinese scientific study of exposure to polluted air has shown that there is potential association with human cognitive abilities
NEW research has shown that long-term exposure to air pollution causes a large reduction in cognitive abilities and intelligence.
According to a study published Monday in the scientific journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the inhalation of polluted air causes "a great reduction in cognitive abilities and intelligence".
American-Chinese research has studied mathematical and verbal skills of about 32,000 people in China for four years, from 2010 to 2014. Scientists have reported that the adverse impact of polluted air increases with the age of respondents, and most are affected by less educated older men.
Because of air pollution in the world, 7 million people die prematurely every year.
Scientists have pointed out that research results are of global importance because even 95 percent of the world's population suffers from dirty air. The World Health Organization (WHO) described air pollution as an invisible killer that causes an estimated 7 million people worldwide every year to die.
Research has shown that air pollution also increases the risk of degenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's and other forms of dementia.
"Exposure to high air pollution can cause cognitive impairment to equal the loss of the year of education," one of the study's authors, Xi Chen, said. Previous studies have also shown that air pollution has a negative impact on the cognitive abilities of students.
The most vulnerable are poor
Air pollution in India
One of the reasons why air pollution is most affected by less educated older men is the fact that they usually do physical outdoor work, researchers said.
WHO has announced that 9 out of 10 people in the world are breathing dangerous air, and Africa and Asia are the most vulnerable. All 20 most polluted cities in the world are in developing countries, and the most polluted are the poorest cities.
The richest cities can afford to fight air pollution and smog. So wealthy people in Beijing buy air and water filters, while poor people breathe dangerous smog.
China built a 100 m tall air purification tower that can produce more than 10 million cubic meters of clean air per day.