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The study shows that the greater exposure to polluted air, the worse results in language and mathematics tests. A study , published on Tuesday, establishes the effects of environmental pollution on intellectual capacity, producing harmful results for both physical and mental health

The cognitive faculties are diminished by the effect of harmful elements in the air, causing greater impact in older people. The study was published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science and states that breathing air with polluting waste drastically reduces results in tests related to math or language.

Pollution affects the brain

Research shows that as the exposure to polluted air is greater, the decrease in the scores in these tests of knowledge increased and even more in older people. The contamination ages the brain and this has very serious consequences in the elderly, since this would affect the performance of some daily activities that need some numerical capacity .


Some diseases, such as Alzheimer's, may have a higher incidence in conditions of excessive contamination or, at least, contamination may represent a risk factor in people who may suffer from this disease . The polluting elements present in the air considered were at least three: sulfur dioxide, nitrogen dioxide and other microscopic elements.

The countries in full development have a greater risk of contamination , due to the lack of laws that regulate the emissions of polluting gases. In some cities, smog is a constant feature and this is one of the main sources of air pollution.

Poor people most affected by pollution

High pollution rates could translate into a deterioration of intellectual capacity , which prevents development and social welfare. It is not uncommon to observe very poor areas where people live surrounded by garbage and contaminated water, this being a natural environment for them.

The WHO has warned that nine out of ten people in the world are breathing contaminated air. According to this organization, in Asia and Africa it is where there is greater pollution, although in other places it also has a great incidence.

People who live in clean places with no contaminated air , usually have a much higher academic performance compared to those who live surrounded by pollutants or garbage . The research claims that brain functions that allow numerical ability are affected by pollution to the point that it impedes the individual's economic development. The study used data such as air quality , place of the sample and social level of the people in that place.
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