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.


anna said...

I don't know much about hydrocarbons in that respect, but it's proven that lead caused (and still causes) stupidity, especially for children. Well, as far as I learned, toxic substances are replaced but just by other toxic substances which are not yet forbidden (or not yet investigated enough). It only helps to decrease exposure altogether.

Adrienne Johnson said...

I wish people would trust what they see in front of them. My kids are stupid whenever they have to spend much time in a car, and it ain't just the hydrocarbons. It is the same when they spend too much time in front of the TV or computer. The human body was meant to work, and every time we introduce something that allows us to use our bodies less, it turns out to be a not so great thing. If we are going to have machines do our farming, clothes washing and cooking then we have to get away from machines carrying us up the stairs and moving us from place to place. There is really no way around it.

spag said...

The sad consequence of this and similar effects is the hordes of folks moving out to the suburbs to provide fresh air to kids and then regularly emitting a bit of shit in the city centre during their motorized commute.

Hope not the case in CPH.

Anonymous said...

Our children, in fact all of us, are being slowly poisoned by a combination of dependencies that are initiated once the car culture becomes in control.

In my son's health class in Middle School, a survey of 25 students revealed that 3 walked, 21 were driven and he was the only one who cycled. Guess which one is considered "strange" and a fanatic?

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Glenn said...

This helps explain the appearent stupidity of the American (U.S.A.) electorate...


Erik Griswold said...

And asthmatic kids:

And stressed out kids: