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Air Pollution Linked to Intellectual Disabilities in Children

Air Pollution Linked to Intellectual Disabilities in Children

A new study has found that British children with intellectual disabilities are more likely than their peers to live in areas with high outdoor air pollution.

Published in the Journal of Intellectual Disability Research, the study’s findings come from an analysis of data from the U.K.’s Millennium Cohort Study, a nationally representative sample of more than 18,000 children born in 2000 to 2002.

Researchers discovered that children with intellectual disabilities were 33 percent more likely to live in areas with high levels of diesel particulate matter, 30 percent more likely to live in areas with high levels of nitrogen dioxide, 30 percent more likely to live in areas with high levels of carbon monoxide, and 17 percent more likely to live in areas with high levels of sulfur dioxide.

The researchers noted that intellectual disability is more common among children living in more socioeconomically deprived areas, which tend to have higher levels of air pollution. However, they add that exposure to outdoor air pollution may impede cognitive development, increasing the risk of intellectual disability.

“We know that people with intellectual disabilities in the U.K. have poorer health and die earlier than they should,” said lead author Dr. Eric Emerson of the University of Sydney in Australia. “This research adds another piece to the jigsaw of understanding why that is the case and what needs to be done about it.”

Source: Wiley

Air Pollution Linked to Intellectual Disabilities in Children

Janice Wood

Janice Wood is a long-time writer and editor who began working at a daily newspaper before graduating from college. She has worked at a variety of newspapers, magazines and websites, covering everything from aviation to finance to healthcare.

APA Reference
Wood, J. (2018). Air Pollution Linked to Intellectual Disabilities in Children. Psych Central. Retrieved on December 13, 2018, from https://psychcentral.com/news/2018/11/25/air-pollution-linked-to-intellectual-disabilities-in-children/140634.html

 

Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 25 Nov 2018
Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 25 Nov 2018
Published on PsychCentral.com. All rights reserved.