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Study links air pollution and intellectual disabilities in children

British children with intellectual disabilities are more likely than their peers to live in areas with high outdoor air pollution, according to a new Journal of Intellectual Disability Research study funded by Public Health England.

The findings come from an analysis of data extracted from the UK’s Millennium Cohort Study, a nationally representative sample of more than 18,000 UK children born in 2000 to 2002.

Averaging across ages, children with intellectual disabilities were 33% more likely to live in areas with high levels of diesel particulate matter, 30% more likely to live in areas with high levels of nitrogen dioxide, 30% more likely to live in areas with high levels of carbon monoxide, and 17% more likely to live in areas with high levels of sulfur dioxide.

The authors note that intellectual disability is more common among children living in more socio-economically deprived areas, which tend to have higher levels of air pollution; however, exposure to outdoor air pollution may impede cognitive development, thereby increasing the risk of intellectual disability.


  • E. Emerson, J. Robertson, C. Hatton and S. Baines (2018) “Risk of exposure to air pollution among British children with and without intellectual disabilities”JIDR doi: 10.1111/jir.12561



This has the arrow of causation backwards.  Dumb parents tend to have dumb children, and those dumb parents are usually poor (because not bright enough to better themselves) and pick cheap-but-not-good accommodations.

This is the lie of "environmental racism":  rent is cheap in polluted areas because all the smart people stay away, and racial minorities with high time preference take advantage of the low rents while ignoring the future costs.  The polluting industries were there first.  Oftimes the "victims" live there because they got jobs in those very industries.


Amazing to note how poor and blue collar workers and their children are and have been treated. To think that it is their fault, is even worst.

The Gm-Ford-Chrysler, Exxon, Mobile, Philips and other master polluters are NOT guilty?


Not surprising that dumb parents who want immediate gratification will accept worse conditions for their children that they could get out of if they would only economize elsewhere.  Not surprising that children take after their parents, either.


Soon, probably sooner than many posters think, a huge worldwide movement will arise to claim/demand that our planet and all living matters be treated with more respect and consideration.

Even intelligent and well educated, rich people will be touched and participate.

That may be the turning point, to start correcting what we have done wrong during the last 150+ years.

a huge worldwide movement will arise to claim/demand that our planet and all living matters be treated with more respect and consideration.

There's an even bigger demand for the products of these "polluters", and people don't want to pay any more nor do they want to commute farther so that these factories can be located farther away from people (and they'd wind up next to someone anyway).  There's huge demand for jobs at such factories, especially in the third world, and anything that would put them out of business would also create a protest movement.

They aren't going anywhere.  If you want them to clean up any further you need to make it affordable.  That will take 2 things:  brainpower and time.  Both are in very limited supply.


---to make it (or all) affordable---, may be a short term limited intelligence solution. A very recent NASA supported study revealed that doing nothing or not enough may be more costly and quickly cost USA many billion $$$$ including many more not so intelligent sick children and adults.

Associated climate warming will provoke major changes with consequences beyond our current understanding.

Short term higher cost and lower affordability is something we will have to deal with in order to survive. The cheapest is not always the best.


The unintelligent do a poor job of managing their health regardless.  They are the remaining market for tobacco, to name just one thing.

There's a very simple solution to the problem of the unintelligent choosing to bring up their children in highly-polluted areas:  pay them not to have children.  That would get rid of 90% of the problem right there.  There would still be unintelligent offspring of brighter people, but they would grow up with much better role models so be very unlikely to fall into the old behavioral traps.

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