A new study is revealing that chemicals in the air, or air pollution, is causing an enormous reduction in human intelligence.
The study, which was conducted in China, claims that test scores in arithmetic and language provide substantial evidence that humans are losing at least one year’s value in education.
“Polluted air can cause everyone to reduce their level of education by one year, which is huge,” said Xi Chen, research team member. “But we know the effect is worse for the elderly, especially those over 64, and for men, and for those with low education. If we calculate [the loss] for those, it may be a few years of education.”
For those over the age of 64, the results of the study posed an even worse threat. In other words, it isn’t just the young that are susceptible to IQ loss as a result of chemicals in the air.
The study, which was published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, used 20,000 people over a span of four years (2010 – 2014). Sulfur dioxide and nitrogen dioxide levels were recorded in the proximities of each person and used to base the analytical findings of the study.
The study showed that the longer the exposure to harmful air, the greater the loss of intelligence suffered. Intelligence in language was affected the worst.
The individuals in the study were followed and tracked through various periods of time that offered dramatically diverse pollution exposures.
“It is because high air pollution can potentially be associated with oxidative stress, neuroinflammation, and neurodegeneration of humans,” Hong Kong Polytechnic University’s Derrick Ho said when discussing the relevance of the study.
Scientists established an average decline with intelligence based on the circumstances of aging to rule out normal declines in intelligence.
Sulfur dioxide is a chemical commonly found in the exhaust plumes of passenger planes. In fact, in 2010, National Geographic published the findings of a study that showed people being more likely to die from the exhaust contents of passenger planes than while riding on them. Airplane exhaust contains both sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides.
Photo by nimbus186
Author: Jim Satney
PrepForThat’s Editor and lead writer for political, survival, and weather categories.
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