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Home »  Child Development »  Beware! Air Pollution Can Harm Your Child's IQ Levels

Beware! Air Pollution Can Harm Your Child's IQ Levels

Here's another shocking ill-effect of pollution exposure, birth defects and lower IQ!

Beware! Air Pollution Can Harm Your Child

Air pollution wouldn't spare your child either!

HIGHLIGHTS

  1. Air pollution exposure can lead to birth defects in the baby
  2. It may also lead to lower IQ levels of your child
  3. Sale of air purifiers, air masks and indoor plants has increased now

Potential health risks involved with air pollution exposure are known to all. But here's another shocking ill-effect of pollution exposure, birth defects! Yes, a study published in the journal of Pediatrics in the year 2017 showed that women exposed to pollution during their preconception period or one month after conception were at risk of giving birth to babies with birth defects like cleft lip or abnormal hearts. They used the birth certificate data from the Ohio Department of health and the particulate matter data from US Environmental Protection Agency's 57 monitoring stations. This was to check the impact of air pollution on child development.

air pollution

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They checked the average exposure by linking the geographical coordinates of the mother's residence for every birth with the closest monitoring station. The results were revealed after they checked the link between birth defects and pollution exposure of the mother to the increase particulate matter level in the air when pregnant.

Also read: Beat The Ill Effects Of Air Pollution With Tips From Delhi's Top Nutritionist

Risks involved with air pollution seem to be increasing with every passing day but not many efforts are being made to curb the situations. It has come to a level where environmentalists, NGOs and health experts of all private and government sectors are concerned about the current situation. At present, efforts to curb pollution should be one of the high-priorities in the national agenda for the sake of the health of our future generations.

Focussing on the need and importance of cleaner air, especially for the expectant mothers during their preconception period, Arvind Chabra, India Head, Blueair, said, "Improving the air quality in our surroundings can be most effective way of avoiding harmful effects of breathing polluted air. Considering the fact that the mother spends 90 percent of their time indoor but the indoor air is up to two to five times more polluted than the outside air. An effective air purifier helps in eliminating the minutest of the air pollutants like fine dust, allergens VOCs and Bacteria etc. Breathing clean air is important to insure healthy life for the child".

air mask

Photo Credit: iStock

Dr Praveen Gupta, Director Neurology, Fortis Gurgaon, said, "With the current scenario, the situation is getting worse. Air Pollution has adverse effect on children, it causes irritability, suffocation, decreased attention and concentration leading to poor performance. The pollutants through their blood travels to different parts of the body including brain, which causes decrease in IQ level and other related problems."

Also read: Beating Air Pollution With The Right Mask: 10 Things To Know

Dr. Himanshu Garg, Head, Department of Respiratory and critical care, Artemis Hospital, said, "The high pollution levels are now a new reality, at time when the change from hazardous to very severe level is welcomed. New and striking evidence is emerging linking the increasing levels of pollution and increasing birth defects. The high incidence of neural tube in newborns where the spinal cord is not formed well even amongst the well nourished mother's is an example which thought to increasing because of higher pollution levels"

With the current situation in view, an increased sense of awareness about pollution and it's ill-effects has been seen in people and they have also been contributing positively to combat the situation. This is evident from the fact that sale of air purifiers, air masks and indoor plants increased in the past few months. 

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