Prenatal exposure to airborne polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons and IQ: Estimated benefit of pollution reduction (Abstract, Frederica Perera, Katherine Weiland, Matthew Neidell and Shuang Wang, Journal of Public Health Policy, May8, 2014)
Also discussed here: Improving air quality in NYC would boost children’s future earnings by increasing IQ (ScienceDaily, May 8 2014)
Today we review research into the link between a pollutant associated with the burning of fossil fuels in an urban environment (polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons or PAH) and the impact on a child’s IQ, and further, how a lower or higher IQ affects lifetime earnings by that child. The impact of air pollution on aging and seniors has been studied as has the impact on pregnant women and the health of their babies but this is the first we have seen to make the link to IQ and lifetime earnings. Results indicate that a 25% decrease in PAH translates to an increase of $215 earnings for the population of New York City.
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