Tuesday, July 21, 2009

On externalities

Try correcting this one:

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.
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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.

1 comment:

ibeconomics said...

Like many of these studies, different possible correlations need to be noted. Haven't seen the study myself, but it would be a jump to link low IQ to childhood in polluted areas. Were IQ's compared to parents? Why are they in a polluted area to begin with? Maybe mom and dad are 4 or 5 points below average as well.