News
27/5/2016

CREAL: Traffic was the only fine particle source associated with slower cognitive development in children

CREAL: Traffic was the only fine particle source associated with slower cognitive development in children


News from CREAL


A study published in Environmental Health Perspectives and led by researchers at the CREAL, an allied ISGlobal centre, has explored associations between cognitive development and the different sources of particulate matter (PM) found in the air in and around schools.

The CREAL researchers found traffic to be the only source of fine particles associated with slower cognitive development. “This means that reducing traffic-related air pollution in primary schools could have beneficial effects on cognition”, explains Jordi Sunyer, co-director at CREAL and study coordinator.

A cohort of 2,618 schoolchildren, with an average age of 8.5 years, attending 39 schools in Barcelona (Spain) was followed up for one year. Analysis of the results revealed an association between a 4 microg/m3 increase in indoor traffic-related PM2.5 and reductions in cognitive growth equivalent to 22% of the annual change in working memory, 30% of the annual change in superior working memory, and 11% of the annual change in the inattentiveness scale. “No other source of PM2.5 was associated with adverse effects on cognitive development”, adds Basagaña.

More information:
CREAL Website

Reference work:
Basagaña X, Esnaola M, Rivas I, Amato F, Alvarez-Pedrerol M, Forns J, López-Vicente M, Pujol J, Nieuwenhuijsen M, Querol X, Sunyer J. Neurodevelopmental Deceleration by Urban Fine Particles from Different Emission Sources: A Longitudinal Observational Study. Environ Health Perspect. 2016 Apr 29;124(5)