Air Pollution effects on Kids -IQ & Brain at Stake

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Health experts have claimed & speculated about air pollution effects on kids.  Brain development, create abnormalities and lower the IQ. After several studies, they have claimed that children living in urban areas are 4-5 percent lower than children living in rural areas due to the effects of pollution.

S.P. Byotra, Head of Department of Internal Medicine at Sir Ganga Ram Hospital said in a statement that “The findings are disturbing as optimal brain development is crucial in setting the foundation of children’s future. Children are most vulnerable to negative effects of air pollution due to their higher breathing rate to body size ratio, and less developed natural barriers in the lungs.”

He further added that even indoor environment is not safe since exposure to many common everyday pollutants in our homes, including tobacco smoke, lead in paint and toys, emissions from cooking stoves, mycotoxins among others can affect a child’s brain development. It can affect the brain development of children of all ages including in the womb.

The study by Dr. Lilian Calderon Garcidueñas and colleagues, at the University of Montana in the US claims that people who are exposed to air pollution since childhood have more chances of dying earlier. When air particulate matter and their components such as metals are inhaled or swallowed, they pass through damaged barriers, including respiratory, gastrointestinal and the blood-brain barriers and can result in long-lasting harmful effects. Air pollution interacts with a gene called Apolipoprotein epsilon 4 alleles to lower children’s IQ.

Lilian Calderon-Garciduenas, the professor at the University of Montana in the US said that “Air pollution can lead to decrease in IQ by 10 and an IQ difference of 10 points will likely have a negative impact on academic and social issues, including bullying and teen delinquency.

Raj Kumar, Head of Respiratory Allergy and Applied Immunology at Vallabhbhai Patel Chest Institute found that Indoor air pollution is one such health hazard which silently enters our body and incapacitates us from the inside. Its quality is equally or more dangerous than outdoor air pollution. Since we spend more time indoors, naturally the risk associated with indoor air is more.

Considering all these facts the country is moving towards many campaigns including anti-pollution awareness programme, named Clean Air India Movement (CLAIM) and much more have been started by air purifier manufacturer Blueair and other organizations which aims at planting a million trees across the country in the coming years to reduce such concern.

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