Does road pollution affect intelligence?

September 11, 2009

Pregnant women who breathe in pollution could be giving birth to children with lower intelligence, says a study from the Columbia Center for Children’s Environmental Health in America.

A total of 249 mothers in New York wore air quality monitors during the last few months of their pregnancy, and their children’s intelligence was then measured at age 5. Those exposed to the most pollution before birth – mainly urban pollutants from car, bus and lorry exhausts – scored around 4-5 points lower in ‘IQ’ tests than children with less exposure.