Air Pollution

Decent Essays
In the US alone, more than a hundred million people are exposed to varying amounts of particulate matter, lead or other pollutants in the air in portions that exceed the identified health standards set by the Environmental Protection Agency. This includes children at public schools, and one in every eleven public schools is within 500 feet of major highways or other heavy sources of pollution. (1)

While much attention has been paid to the dangers of air pollution when it comes to cancer and other illnesses impacting the respiratory and cardiovascular systems, less attention has been given to the effects air pollution can have on cognitive health. Air pollution and academic performance seem to be linked, as new studies have found concerning evidence about the impact of pollutants on neurological health and function.

Poor air quality has been found to have remarkable and detrimental effects on young children, and can adversely affect their ability to learn. It is therefore critical to ensure good air quality in schools, so that children may have the best possible education.

Effects of Air Pollution on the Brain

In terms of the effect of air pollution on the brain, much of the risk comes from particulate matter 2.5 micrometers or less in diameter (or approximately 1/30 of the width of a human hair). It’s small enough to penetrate deep into the lungs and different organs of the body.

The physiological development of children is uniquely susceptible to and harmed by
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