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TRAFFIC SLOWS UP CHILD DEVELOPMENT

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Many schools are located close to busy streets

Children who attend schools in heavily trafficked areas show a lower cognitive development according to a new study led by researchers from CREAL.

Many schools are located in close to busy streets, with traffic air pollution which peaks while children are at school. The research, part of the BREATHE project, was to evaluate the relationship between long-term exposure to traffic-related air pollutants at school and cognitive development measurements in primary school children.

"We have found that children attending highly contaminated schools had lower growth in cognitive development than children in schools less polluted. In this sense, children who attend schools with high levels of pollution, both in the classroom and on the playground experienced less growth of cognitive functions essential for learning, the 7% against 11%.

These results were confirmed using direct measurements of traffic related pollutants at schools. This can have consequences on school performance and behavior”, explains Jordi Sunyer, principal investigator of the study.

The researchers from CREAL, an ISGlobal alliance research centre, developed a prospective study, from January 2012 to March 2013, of 2,897 children, aged seven to ten years, from 39 schools in Barcelona and Sant Cugat exposed to high and low traffic-related air pollution.

Filed under: http://www.theleader.info/article/46636/

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