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Pollution lowers child IQ
Detail: A recent Australian study of about 250 children found those whose mothers were exposed to common pollutant polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH) typically tested a full four points lower in IQ.

The pollutants, released into the air from the burning of coal, diesel, petrol, oil and gas, are found in urban environments around the world, according to University of Queensland emeritus professor Michael Moore, former head of the National Research Centre for Environmental Toxicology. Traffic sources as well as burning of tobacco release PAHs. The study defined high PAH levels as those above the average of 2.26 nanograms per cubic metre but levels of up to 30 could be measured.

Two other studies, one in China and another in Europe, had shown lower intelligence among those exposed to coal-burning power stations, he said.

Another study by researchers at the Center for Children's Environmental Health (CCCEH) at the Mailman School of Public Health targeted children in New York City to find low verbal IQ scores among children with exposure to polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in the environment. The children studied scored lower in verbal IQ scores when compared to children less exposure to air pollutants in New York City. Frederica Perera, DrPH, professor of Environmental Health Sciences at Mailman says, "These findings are of concern because these decreases in IQ could be educationally meaningful in terms of school performance.

However, Professor Moore said a difference of four IQ points would not be measurable in an individual child and was only picked up by researchers because they were able to average out IQs among an entire group.
Source: The Daily Telegraph (Australia), July 24, 2009 and
Date: August 15 2009