Not only does smog lower your IQ, but it starts before you are born.
The study from Columbia University, which will be published in the August issue of Pediatrics, followed children in Washington Heights, Harlem and the South Bronx from before their birth to five years of age, measuring their exposure to both pollution and tobacco smoke, then gave them a standard intelligence test.
Mathematical models were created to measure pre-natal exposure to pollution, and the mothers wore personal air monitors during pregnancy. A total of 140 out of the 249 kids tested were estimated to have had “high exposure” to pollution, and were found to have IQ scores about 4.5 points below those with less exposure.
The study’s authors will continue to monitor the children involved to see if their academic performance and future lives are impacted.
The study is going to increase the pressure on Congress to pass cap and trade legislation by adding arguments of class and health to the debate, which until now has focused on climate change, economic growth, and national security.