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Young kids who breathe polluted air can fall behind in school, study finds

Published on December 1, 2022

A group of kids walking to school on the sidewalk next to a street
Image Credit: Nipponeselover (CC BY-SA 3.0)

Young children living in neighborhoods with high rates of poverty are more likely to be exposed to many different air pollutants, and that can harm their development during early childhood, according to a study published Wednesday. The children’s increased exposure to air toxins during infancy can reduce reading and math abilities and cause them to fall behind — for some, the effect is equivalent to losing an entire month of elementary school.

“This is really important because we have significant health inequities of all kinds for children in the U.S. that tracks with poverty,” said Catherine Karr, an environmental epidemiologist and pediatric environmental medicine specialist at the University of Washington.

“Clean air is part of the prescription for every child to meet their full health potential, including cognitive health,” added Karr, who was not involved in the study.

Continue reading at The Washington Post.

Originally written by Amudalat Ajasa for The Washington Post.
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