Air quality influences the development of intelligence in children

What makes an intelligent person? Are their own innate characteristics or external factors also influencing the development of this skill? It is true that parents can help empower this capacity through the stimulation and making the little ones participate in different activities for this purpose. But there are also other fields beyond the control of the parents.

This is the case of external factors such as pollution. An element that demonstrates a new study published in the journal of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States has a great influence on the development of the intelligence of children. A work where it is demonstrated that an environment where pollution is present has negative effects on the cognitive functions of the brain.


More than a correlation

The first result that stands out in this study is that a cause-effect relationship has been demonstrated between pollution and the development of intelligence. That is, the consequences are direct and an environment with a strong presence of pollution can make, for example, a student has a greater chance of suspending an exam if it has been prepared in this environment.

These conclusions have been reached after analyzing more than 20,000 cases in China, a country characterized by high pollution. A follow-up carried out between 2010 and 2014. One of the authors of this research indicated that the results showed that coexistence in a contaminated environment can cause the loss of cognitive abilities similar to those acquired after one year of education.


This was demonstrated after comparing the different intelligence tests performed on the participants. Those who lived in areas of greater contamination obtained worse results than those who lived in more clean. Effects that increase with the years and that when arriving at the third age they were equated to several years of education lost.

For this reason it is advised look after the environment where the youngest of the house develop. Given the relationship between pollution and intelligence, keeping this issue in mind can avoid possible long-term problems in the development of these capabilities in children.

Help from home

Given the influence that pollution has on the lives of the little ones, it is evident the need to create awareness to create clean spaces. Here are some tips to help from home:


- Public transport. Teaching children the importance of public transportation from an early age will help raise awareness about this issue so that when they reach the adult stage they choose this option whenever possible.

- Recycling and waste. Recycling is one of the teachings that must be transmitted from an early age. It is also important to educate for the removal of waste in the right places.

- Saving water. Water is one of the most important assets on the planet. Learning not to waste it is one of the best tools against pollution. Close faucets that are not used, do not use it as fun and other aspects should be made clear to the little ones.

Damián Montero

Video: How the environment affects fertility, pregnancy, and childhood development


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