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Study: Air pollution harms cognitive intelligence

  • Published at 06:14 pm August 28th, 2018
Air pollution
A woman wears a protective face mask to fight air pollution in Beijing | AFP

The World Health Organization estimates that 4.6 million people die each year from causes directly attributable to air pollution 

A new study conducted in China revealed the rising amount of toxins in the air can harm one’s cognitive ability as they age.   

The research also found about 95% of the global population is breathing toxic air, reports BBC News. 

According to Chinese scientists, long term exposure to air pollution caused people to perform poorly in language and arithmetic tests.

The study used China’s air quality data to determine the results. Scientists carried out tests on 20,000 people over the course of four years and discovered the negative effects of air pollution on people. It was found that men were more severely affected by polluted air.

Xi Chen at Yale School of Public Health in the US, a member of the research team told BBC News: “Our sample enables us to examine the impact of air pollution as people age. So our results across the life course are quite new.” 

The World Health Organization said 4.6 million people die every year due to toxic air intake.

Derrick Ho of Hong Kong Polytechnic told BBC: "What's new in this paper is the focus on the China scenario and the fact that it's a very detailed study compared to many other ones," 

"Also the differentiation between gender and age in this detail is new," he said.