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  1. #1
    Minister of Propagandhi ajblaise's Avatar
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    Default Lower IQ Scores Linked To Air Pollution Exposure Before Birth

    This adds to the list of genetic abnormalities and neurological, reproductive and developmental effects that exposure to pollution might be causing.

    Kids' Lower IQ Scores Linked To Prenatal Pollution

    CHICAGO 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.

    That's a big enough difference that it could affect children's performance in school, said Frederica Perera, the study's lead author and director of the Columbia Center for Children's Environmental Health.

    Dr. Michael Msall, a University of Chicago pediatrician not involved in the research, said the study doesn't mean that children living in congested cities "aren't going to learn to read and write and spell."

    But it does suggest that you don't have to live right next door to a belching factory to face pollution health risks, and that there may be more dangers from typical urban air pollution than previously thought, he said.

    "We are learning more and more about low-dose exposure and how things we take for granted may not be a free ride," he said.

    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.

    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.

    "It's a profound observation," he said. "This paper is going to open a lot of eyes."

    The study in the August edition of Pediatrics was released Monday.

    In earlier research, involving some of the same children and others, Perera linked prenatal exposure to air pollution with genetic abnormalities at birth that could increase risks for cancer; smaller newborn head size and reduced birth weight. Her research team also has linked it with developmental delays at age 3 and with children's asthma.

    The researchers studied pollutants that can cross the placenta and are known scientifically as polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons. Main sources include vehicle exhaust and factory emissions. Tobacco smoke is another source, but mothers in the study were nonsmokers.

    A total of 140 study children, 56 percent, were in the high exposure group. That means their mothers likely lived close to heavily congested streets, bus depots and other typical sources of city air pollution; the researchers are still examining data to confirm that, Perera said. The mothers were black or Dominican-American; the results likely apply to other groups, researchers said.

    The researchers took into account other factors that could influence IQ, including secondhand smoke exposure, the home learning environment and air pollution exposure after birth, and still found a strong influence from prenatal exposure, Perera said.

    Dr. Robert Geller, an Emory University pediatrician and toxicologist, said the study can't completely rule out that pollution exposure during early childhood might have contributed. He also noted fewer mothers in the high exposure group had graduated from high school. While that might also have contributed to the high-dose children's lower IQ scores, the study still provides compelling evidence implicating prenatal pollution exposure that should prompt additional studies, Geller said.

    The researchers said they plan to continuing monitoring and testing the children to learn whether school performance is affected and if there are any additional long-term effects.
    Kids' Lower IQ Scores Linked To Prenatal Pollution

  2. #2
    DoubleplusUngoodNonperson
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    yes, because if theres a correlation between ice cream consumption and high temperatures, it just MIGHT be the case that eating ice cream CAUSES high temperatures!!

    You know, because there's never been absurd correlations made between things or anything! nope, not a once.

    I'd like to see this same study replicated in Tokyo - i GUARANTEE you it'd be the opposite.

  3. #3
    Minister of Propagandhi ajblaise's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nozflubber View Post
    yes, because if theres a correlation between ice cream consumption and high temperatures, it just MIGHT be the case that eating ice cream CAUSES high temperatures!!

    You know, because there's never been absurd correlations made between things or anything! nope, not a once.
    We already know pollution can have adverse effects on reproductive health, so this shouldn't be that much of a surprise.

  4. #4
    Habitual Fi LineStepper JocktheMotie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ajblaise View Post
    We already know pollution can have adverse effects on reproductive health, so this shouldn't be that much of a surprise.
    Yes, however the variety of other factors involved in a study like this is so vast that selecting one factor seems a bit silly to me. What were the parenting styles like? Was learning and education stressed equally? The study even suggests that the lower IQ children had parents with less high school graduation rate. How much does that have an effect? There are possibly thousands of factors that can influence how someone develops intelligence from birth to 5 years.



  5. #5
    DoubleplusUngoodNonperson
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    i was thinking it was just economic/geographical - rich, smart people don't want to raise their kids in their inner city like THE BRONX, they take their kids outside of the city to the suburbs, far away from high pullution concentrations.... well-to-do, whitified people only work in the city, they don't live or raise their kids there. The only people that live in the Bronx and northern manhatten are the ones that HAVE to live there. (self-selection mechanisms for this study are obviously at play here)

    in Tokyo, children keep their children inside the city - you don't see this massive exodus to the suburbs at the end of the day. And as such, smart couples with smart babies in Japan will remain within the city limits, exposed to high pollution, nonetheless.

    I wouldn't be surprised if you saw the same thing in Seoul, too.

    So my guess is a cultural thing having to do with American geographic sprawl.

  6. #6
    Minister of Propagandhi ajblaise's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JocktheMotie View Post
    Yes, however the variety of other factors involved in a study like this is so vast that selecting one factor seems a bit silly to me. What were the parenting styles like? Was learning and education stressed equally? The study even suggests that the lower IQ children had parents with less high school graduation rate. How much does that have an effect? There are possibly thousands of factors that can influence how someone develops intelligence from birth to 5 years.
    Aha, the researchers are one step ahead of you..

    "The researchers took into account other factors that could influence IQ, including secondhand smoke exposure, the home learning environment and air pollution exposure after birth, and still found a strong influence from prenatal exposure"

    Granted, there could be other factors that they missed. But this is just the first major study on the topic.

  7. #7
    Striving for balance Little Linguist's Avatar
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    I'm sure there are many factors associated with lower IQ scores. If pollution is one of them, that would not shock me. However, we also need to take other factors into account; otherwise, we'd be looking at this from too narrow a perspective.
    If you are interested in language, words, linguistics, or foreign languages, check out my blog and read, post, and/or share.

  8. #8
    no clinkz 'til brooklyn Nocapszy's Avatar
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    why can't people just admit that their kids are dumb because they are dumb?
    we fukin won boys

  9. #9
    DoubleplusUngoodNonperson
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    ^because parents want to have the illusion of control over their child's stupidity... its one thing to know your kid is stupid, its another to know you couldve done/can do nothing about it. if they find out that pollution is the answer, then that allows them to have unstupid kids by removing them from polluted environemnts! AND it furthers the green movement! Perfect kind of study to feed to the masses.

  10. #10
    Minister of Propagandhi ajblaise's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nocap View Post
    why can't people just admit that their kids are dumb because they are dumb?
    Quote Originally Posted by nozflubber View Post
    ^because parents want to have the illusion of control over their child's stupidity... its one thing to know your kid is stupid, its another to know you couldve done/can do nothing about it. if they find out that pollution is the answer, then that allows them to have unstupid kids by removing them from polluted environemnts! AND it furthers the green movement! Perfect kind of study to feed to the masses.
    You guys didn't grow up next to any industrial smokestacks by any chance, did you? noz, aren't you from Florida, don't they have a smog problem?

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