Pollution Linked to Fall in Intelligence, China Study Finds

By Tom Smith, August 29, 2018

0 0

A new study in China has found that chronic exposure to air pollution could be making people less intelligent, the BBC reports.

Researchers at Beijing's Peking University and Yale University in the United States monitored the math and verbal skills of over 20,000 people in China over the last four years and found that the negative impact increased with age. The study looked at areas where participants lived and studied their levels of pollutants, including sulphur dioxide, nitrogen dioxide and PM10 particulate matter.

But while the study established a link between lower test scores and pollution, it notably did not prove cause and effect.

Researchers also found that pollution levels had a larger negative impact on the cognitive performance of men and those with less education. The researchers theorized that this could be due to the fact that older men with less education tend to work manual jobs outdoors and are therefore more exposed to pollution. 

The study also suggested that pollution can increase the risk of degenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's and other types of dementia, as well as mental health problems such as depression. 

This isn't the first study that has claimed that air pollution is having a negative effect on our health. In 2016, a study conducted by researchers at Duke University suggested that heavy pollution could also increase people's risk of obesity

READ MORE: Pollution Killing You, May Also Be Making You Fat

Currently, over 80 percent of the world's urban population breathes unsafe levels of air pollution, according to researchers from the Peking University and Yale study. Recent data from the World Health Organization also revealed that air pollution is responsible for an estimated seven million premature deaths a year.

[Top image via Andy Enero/Flickr]

more news

9 Tips to Reduce the Risk of Screen Time

We sat down with ophthalmologist Xinyu Weng of Jiahui Health.

Explainer: The Story Behind Dragon Boat Festival

What's with all these dragon boats anyway?

Explainer: Everything You Need to Know About Qingming

Have no idea what Tomb-Sweeping Day is all about? We're here to explain.

COVID-19 and Mental Health: Life Inside an Isolation Hotel

That's spoke to staff in an isolation hotel in Foshan to understand the effect voluntary quarantine can have on one's mental health.

Meet the Fitness Instructors Navigating Chinese Social Media

Siri Nordheim and Ann MacLellan, MYbarre Fitness founders.

China, Here Are Your 2022 Public Holidays

Will the borders open for 2022? Regardless, it's time to start planning your next adventure.

CCS's Karli Rowland, Offering a Mental Health Support Lifeline

We reached out to her to find out what help was on hand.

0 User Comments

In Case You Missed It…

We're on WeChat!

Scan our QR Code at right or follow us at ThatsSuzhou for events, guides, giveaways and much more!

7 Days in Suzhou With thatsmags.com

Weekly updates to your email inbox every Wednesday


Download previous issues

Never miss an issue of That's Suzhou!

Visit the archives