06 August 2009

Pollution Gives Us Stupid Kids

It's not like cities and towns around the world lack science or stats regarding the benefits of working towards increasing the number of citizens who ride bicycles. You can't swing a Brompton around by the saddle without hitting a pile of studies and research.

Nevertheless, here's one more that we'll tirelessly broadcast across the internet in the vain hope that people will wake up and smell the liveable urban landscape.

It's not THAT surprising to read that pollution in cities has nasty effects on public health. Now, however, it turns out that it can knock points off of the IQs of children. 4.5 points to be precise. Researchers have found that the hydrocarbons from traffic can lower a child's IQ by the age of three. The hydrocarbons have much the same effect as lead, stunting mental development.

So reports Utne, who link to an article at Science Daily.

Here's a thought... considering the fact that the hydrocarbon levels are higher INSIDE cars... does that mean children risk becoming even stupider when travelling by automobile? Don't fret for the boy in the photo, above. He's only in a car three or four times a year.

My Alltime Favourite Warning Sign
All the more reason to launch the Health Warning Labels for Cars campaign.

Via: Utne, who picked it up over at Science Daily.