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Thursday, 30 August 2018

Extended exposure to air pollution is destroying our cognition, not just our lungs

Extended exposure to air pollution is destroying our cognition, not just our lungs: A study in China has found there is a probable link between long-term exposure to air pollution and impaired language and math skills, according to the New York Times. The researchers cross-referenced pollution levels in 162 Chinese counties with people’s performance on math and word-recognition tests four years apart, and concluded that exposure to a high concentration of pollutants had a particularly significant negative effect on verbal test scores among older, less-educated men. “The new study’s findings ‘imply that the indirect effect on social welfare could be much larger than previously thought,’ the authors wrote. ‘A narrow focus on the negative effect on health may underestimate the total cost of air pollution.’”

Food for thought: The study only zoned in on China, but the article briefly mentions that air pollution in Egypt shaves off around 1.9 years from our average life expectancies. This statistic and the findings of the Chinese study make us wonder how much of an impact air pollution is having on the cognition of everybody living here in Egypt — and particularly those who are unfortunate enough to live next door to a cement plant that spews toxic dust.

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