Delhites alert! Here comes another reason to leave this godforsaken city and run for your life. High levels of air pollution are damaging us in much more ways than what we perceive.
It seems that not only our lungs, breathing system and immunity are getting affected in general, but the deadly air pollution also has more dangerous and irreversible damages on our little ones. A recent study states that exposure to outdoor air pollution may increase the risk of intellectual disability in children.
The study, published in the Journal of Intellectual Disability Research, found that British children who live in areas with high outdoor air pollution have more intellectual disabilities than their peers. The findings come after intense analysis of data extracted from the UK’s Millennium Cohort Study, a nationally representative sample of over 18,000 children born between 2000 and 2002.
Alarmingly enough, the survey showed that children with intellectual disabilities were 33 percent more likely to live in areas with high levels of diesel particulate matter, and 30 percent more likely to live in areas with high levels of nitrogen dioxide.
The researchers also note that intellectual disability is more common among children living in more socioeconomically deprived areas, which in turn tend to have higher levels of air pollution. The results are attributed to the theory that exposure to outdoor air pollution may impede cognitive development, thereby increasing the risk of intellectual disability.
“We know that people with intellectual disabilities in the UK have poorer health and die earlier than they should,” Indian Express quoted lead author and doctor Eric Emerson from The University of Sydney as saying. “This research adds another piece to the jigsaw of understanding why that is the case and what needs to be done about it.”