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According to study published in journal Environmental Pollution, exposure to air pollution can have damaging effects on children’s cognitive development and reduce their working memory.
The study has assessed impact of fine particulate matter (PM2.5) and black carbon— a pollutant directly related to traffic during walking commute to and from school.
The study findings show that 20% of child’s daily dose of black carbon is inhaled during urban commutes. These short exposures to very high concentrations of pollutants can have a disproportionately high impact on health. The detrimental effects may be particularly marked in children because of their smaller lung capacity and higher respiratory rate.
Statistical analysis of findings also showed that exposure to PM2.5 and black carbon (BC) causes reduction in growth of working memory. The interquartile range increase in PM 2.5 and black carbon levels were associated with a decline of working memory by 4.6% and 3.9%, respectively, in expected annual growth.