Reducing air pollution may improve brain development in children: Study

Having a portable air purifier in the house may reduce the negative effects of air pollution on brain development in children, according to a new study.

The study, published in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives, found that the children of mothers who used the air purifiers had an average intelligence quotient (FSIQ) that was 2.8 points higher than the group who did not use the air purifier. cleaner during pregnancy.

“These results, combined with evidence from previous studies, strongly imply that air pollution poses a threat to brain development,” said study researcher Ryan Allen of Simon Fraser University in Canada. The team recruited 540 pregnant women in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia to participate in the study.

Ulaanbaatar has some of the worst air quality in the world, far exceeding World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines.

The women were less than 18 weeks into their pregnancy and non-smokers who had not previously used air-filtering equipment in their homes. They were randomly assigned to the control or intervention group.

The intervention group was given one or two HEPA filtered air purifiers and encouraged to run the air purifiers continuously throughout their pregnancy. After the birth of the child, the air purifiers were removed from the house.

The researchers later measured the children’s FSIQ at age four. Children in the intervention group also had significantly higher mean index scores for verbal comprehension, which is consistent with results from previous observational studies.

The research suggests that a child’s verbal skills may be particularly sensitive to exposure to air pollution.


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