Air Pollution Linked to Low IQ in Children

When many doctors downplay the role of toxicity in the body and underestimate the damage it causes, it's nice to see research pointing to these effects. Researchers recently found that mothers who breathe in more polluted air during their pregnancy were more apt to have children with lower IQs.

Two hundred and forty nine children were studied and the IQ difference between the high pollution group and the low pollution group was about four to five points. Four to five points doesn't sound like much, but when you understand that only thirty points marks the difference between genius and average, you can understand the significance.

Patrick Breysse, an environmental health specialist at Johns Hopkins' school of public health, thinks that air quality might be part of the reason that wealthier children tend to do better in school than children from poorer neighborhoods, as poorer families tend to live in more polluted areas.

It's interesting though that only air pollution was accounted for in this study. It'd be curious to see the results if they accounted for things like: eating organic, natural foods verses pesticide-laced, processed foods or like drinking nutrient-rich fruit and vegetable juices instead of coffee or coke. While few are immune from such habits, the latter are also more likely to be consumed regularly in low income areas.

The larger picture implication is that the chemical toxins that pollute our environment also pollute our bodies, and make us at least a little mentally slower. Pesticides and chemicals in processed foods and soft drinks also qualify as chemical toxins.

Wouldn't it be interesting if most of the population would actually rank at or near the genius level, if not for the consistent exposure to chemicals and toxins of all sorts while in the womb and throughout life?

If air pollution accounts for four to five points, it'd be easy to see where the lack of pesticides and chemical-ridden processed foods would easily add on another five or possibly ten points. The absence of mercury, a toxin known to affect the brain and found in vaccines and teeth fillings, could easily tack on another five points too. The list of known poisons that today's humans regularly put in and on their bodies is astounding and reducing them would be fairly simple if we made some concerted efforts.

Even physicians are catching on and understanding that what they thought was harmless, really is not.

Dr. Michael Msall, a University of Chicago pediatrician, said, "We are learning more and more about low-dose exposure and how things we take for granted may not be a free ride."

A lower IQ wasn't the only thing researchers found connected with air pollution. In previous research, the same researchers found that exposure to air pollution while in the womb was associated with genetic abnormalities that may increase the risk for cancer, a smaller newborn head size and even reduced birth weight. The researchers also linked air pollution with developmental delays at age three and asthma in children. (naturalnews, 7.24.2009, Kim Evans, citizen journalist
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