Polluted urban air can knock some 4.5 points off of a child’s IQ, according to research cited in Science News. Studying 249 mothers-to-be, the researchers found that exposure to common hydrocarbons—mostly from traffic—can significantly lower a child’s IQ by age 3. The pollution acts much like lead, in that any exposure, no matter how small, appears to have an effect on mental development. While 4.5 points on an IQ test may not seem like a lot, the article reports that “it’s in the range of what might be triggered by exposures to high levels of lead or by fetal alcohol syndrome.”
Source: Science News
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