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Prenatal Air Pollution Lowers Children's IQ

03.12.10 Prenatal Air Pollution Lowers Children's IQ

A recent study showed a link between exposure to smog before birth and low IQ in children, as reported by the Washington Post, and published in the August issue of Pediatrics. There is growing evidence suggesting that low levels of air pollution are much more harmful than once thought.

The study followed mothers living in poorer sections of New York City, often around busy streets and bus stops, where there is exposure to car exhaust. This exposure is another potential reason for the achievement gap in children from homes with a lower socio-economic level. 

According to the article, "While future research is needed to confirm the new results, the findings suggest exposure to air pollution before birth could have the same harmful effects on the developing brain as exposure to lead, said Patrick Breysse, an environmental health specialist at Johns Hopkins' school of public health."

This along with the news earlier this year that the air quality outside many of our nation's schools is unhealthy due to air pollution elevates this issue significantly. We've got to do all we can to give every child an equal start in life-- to be born without the effects of pollution, is a basic, fundamental right. 

image:  dizznbonn on Flickr under Creative Commons

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