Kids' lower IQ scores linked to prenatal pollution
Researchers for the first time have linked air pollution exposure before birth with lower IQ scores in childhood, bolstering evidence that smog may harm the developing brain. The results are in a study of 249 children of New York City women who wore backpack air monitors for 48 hours during the last few months of pregnancy. They lived in mostly low-income neighborhoods in northern Manhattan and the South Bronx. They had varying levels of exposure to typical kinds of urban air pollution, mostly from car, bus and truck exhaust.
At age 5, before starting school, the children were given IQ tests. Those exposed to the most pollution before birth scored on average four to five points lower than children with less exposure.
And along with other environmental harms and disadvantages low-income children are exposed to, it could help explain why they often do worse academically than children from wealthier families, Breysse said.