Print Friendly and PDF

IQ Ratings Suffer from Car Pollution, Tobacco Exposure

Elizabeth Renter
by
July 10th, 2012
Updated 11/18/2012 at 10:27 am
Pin It

brainiqratings 235x147 IQ Ratings Suffer from Car Pollution, Tobacco Exposure

We are all subject to the dangers of air pollution. Even if you live in the country, you are exposed to some level of pollution, from your own vehicle or tobacco if you smoke. But a study from the Columbia Center for Children’s Environmental Health finds that high levels of pollution can affect the eventual intelligence of children, making for lower IQ ratings. Other studies link the same pollutants to depression, asthma, and many other health concerns.

Pollution From Cars, Tobacco Linked with Lower IQ Ratings

The study looked at prenatal exposure to air pollution, specifically polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). What they found was pregnant mothers exposed to high levels of these pollutants gave birth to children who would eventually have significantly lower IQ ratings based on intelligence tests at age 5.

These pollutants (PAHs) come from the burning of fossil fuels, used in vehicles and industry. They are also emitted in smaller amounts from the burning of organic materials like tobacco, according to UPI.com.

The study looked at 214 children born to healthy, non-smoking white Polish mothers between 2001 and 2006. During pregnancy the women wore air monitors in small backpacks to measure their exposure to pollutants. They also provided blood and cord samples at the time of delivery.

The children were then tested and monitored through the age of five. They were tested on reasoning and intelligence and were found to have lower IQ ratings as exposure to pollution increased.

Frederica Perera, author of the New York study says these findings are significant because they show air pollution exposure could be “educationally meaningful in terms of school performance.” She also points out, however, that air pollution, in general, has declined somewhat over the past decade or so.

PAH exposure in the womb has also been linked to things like asthma, low birth weight, premature delivery, and heart malformation.

A more recent study from Environmental Health Perspectives found that prenatal exposure to pollutants is associated with a 24% higher score of anxiety and depression in young children. Children as young as six and seven are experiencing depression and anxiety because of toxins in our air.

According to the Wisconsin Department of Health, we are exposed to PAHs in a number of ways:

  • Breathing - Most people are exposed to PAHs when they breathe in smoke, auto emissions or industrial exhausts. Most exhausts contain many different PAH compounds. People with the highest exposures are smokers, people who live or work with smokers, roofers, road builders and people who live near major highways or industrial sources.
  • Drinking/Eating - Charcoal-broiled foods, especially meats, are a source of some PAH exposure. Shellfish living in contaminated water may be another major source of exposure. PAHs may be in groundwater near disposal sites where construction wastes or ash are buried; people may be exposed by drinking this water. Vegetables do not absorb significant amounts of PAHs that are in soil.
  • Touching - PAHs can be absorbed through skin too. Exposure can come from handling contaminated soil or bathing in contaminated water. Low levels of these chemicals may be absorbed when a person uses medicated skin cream or shampoo containing PAHs.

Using skin care products containing PAHs, cooking with charcoal, and job choice can all impact our exposure.

From around the web:

  • http://bigupload.com/en/file/95029/carpollution.org-car-pollution-definition-effects-and-how-it-can-be-solved.pdf.html Car Exhaust Pollution

    Right now it sounds like Drupal is the best blogging platform available right now.
    (from what I’ve read) Is that what you’re using on your blog?

  • http://enjuice.com/ Isaac Patton

    There's one more reason to give up on tobacco entirely. Good thing there are safer alternatives these days to make the transition easier – especially for the hardcore smokers.

  • Italics Mine

    Generally it seems that studies will prove anything the authors want it to prove.

  • Dr. Heath Motley

    DID YOU KNOW…

    …that an Australian study sampling, among other things, individuals over 45 years of age, found that 38.9% of smokers were overweight, versus 49.5% ex-smokers and 44.1% never-smokers?

    ________________________

    DATA FROM:

    Australian Bureau of Statistics January 1994 report entitled "1980-90 National Health Survey: Lifestyle and Health Australia".

    DID YOU KNOW…

    …that an Australian study sampling, among other things, individuals over 45 years of age, found that 11.3% of smokers suffered from hypertension, versus 27.0% ex-smokers and 29.0% never-smokers?

    ________________________

    DATA FROM:

    Australian Bureau of Statistics January 1994 report entitled "1980-90 National Health Survey: Lifestyle and Health Australia".

    DID YOU KNOW…

    …that an Australian study sampling, among other things, individuals over 45 years of age, found that 6.0% of smokers suffered from heart disease, versus 6.7% never-smokers and 11.4% ex-smokers?

    ________________________

    DATA FROM:

    Australian Bureau of Statistics January 1994 report entitled "1980-90 National Health Survey: Lifestyle and Health Australia".

    DID YOU KNOW…

    …that in an Australian study, 91.8% of those who never smoked reported a long term illenss, while those who smoked reported 89.0%?

    When age was taken into consideration, more people who had never smoked than those who did smoke reported one or more long-term illnesses.

    When the number of years during which a person had been a smoker were taken into account, it was the ex-smokers who fared worse when it came to long term illnesses.

    ________________________

    DATA FROM:

    Australian Bureau of Statistics January 1994 report entitled "1980-90 National Health Survey: Lifestyle and Health Australia".

    DID YOU KNOW…

    …that smoking has a protective effect on immunological abnormalities in asbestos workers?

    Data from: 0429. Institute of Immunology and Experimental Therapy (Poland). Lange, A.

    "Effect of Smoking on Immunological Abnormalities in Asbestos Workers".

    DID YOU KNOW…

    … that Hypertension and postpartum hemorrhage are lower in smokers?

    Data from:

    0045. University of Tasmania (Australia). Correy, J.; Newman, N. Curran, J. "An Assessment of Smoking in Pregnancy."

    DID YOU KNOW…

    … that nonsmokers and especially ex-smokers of cigarettes have greater risk of UC [ulcerative colitis]?

    Data from:

    4134. Lorusso, D.; Leo, S.; Miscianga, G.; Guerra, V. "Cigarette smoking and ulcerative colitis. A case control Study." Hepato-Gastroenterology 36(4): 202-4, Aug. 1989.

    DID YOU KNOW THAT…

    … that there is a low prevalence of smoking in ulcerative colitis? And that the disease often starts or relapses after stopping smoking?

    Data from:

    4101. Prytz, H.; Benoni, C.; Tagesson, C. "Does smoking tighten the gut?" In Scandinavian Journal of Gastroenterology 24(9):1084-8, Nov. 1989.

    DID YOU KNOW THAT…

    … that smoking protects against Parkinson's disease?

    Data from many studies. Among them:

    1102. Carr, L.A.; Rowell, P.P. "Attenuation of 1methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydrophyridine- induced neurotoxicity by tobacco smoke." Published in Neuro-pharmacology 29(3):311-4, Mar 1990.

    1190. Janson, A.M.; Fuxe, K.; Agnati, L.F. Jansson, A. et al. "Protective effects of chronic nicotine treatment on lesioned nigrostriatal dopamine neurons in the male rat." Pub. in Progress in Brain Research 79:257-65, 1989.

    4014. Decina, P.; Caracci, G.; Sandik, R.; Berman, W. et al. "Cigarette smoking and neuroleptic-induced parkinsonism." In Biological Psychiatry 28(6):502-8, Sept. 15, 1990

    DID YOU KNOW THAT…

    … that RBCs [red blood cells] from cigarette smokers contain more glutathione and catalase and protect lung endothelial cells against O2 [dioxide] metabolites better than RBCs from nonsmokers?

    Data from:

    0759. University of Colorado. Refine, J.E.; Berger, E.M.; Beehler, C.J. et al. "Role of RBC Antioxidants in Cigarette Smoke Related Diseases." Jan 1980 – continuing.

    DID YOU KNOW THAT…

    … that Hypertension (high blood pressure) and postpartum hemorrhage are lower in smokers?

    Data from:

    0045. University of Tasmania (Australia). Correy, J.; Newman, N. Curran, J. "An Assessment of Smoking in Pregnancy."

    DID YOU KNOW THAT…

    … that Hypertension (high blood pressure) is less common among smokers?

    Data from:

    0146. Shanghai Institute of Cardiovascular Diseases. Chen, H.Z.; Pan, X.W.; Guo, G. et al. "Relation Between Cigarette Smoking and Epidemiology of Hypertension.

    DID YOU KNOW…

    … that smokers have lower incidence of postoperative deep vein thrombosis than nonsmokers?

    Data from:

    Guy's Hospital Medical School (England). Jones, R.M. "Influence of Smoking on Peri-Operative Morbidity."

    DID YOU KNOW…

    … that smokers have less plaque, gingival inflammation and tooth mobility than nonsmokers?

    Data from:

    Veterans Administration, Outpatient Clinic (Boston). Chauncey. H.H,; Kapur, K.K.; Feldmar, R S. "The Longitudinal and Cross-Sectional Study of Oral Health: in Healthy Veterans (Dental Longitudinal Study)

    DID YOU KNOW THAT…

    … that Smokers in general are thinner than nonsmokers, even when they ingest more calories?

    Data from:

    Numerous studies, but only two are listed below:

    0885. Kentucky State University. Lee. C.J.: Panemangalore. M. "Obesity Among Selected Elderly Females In Central Kentucky." FUNDING: USDA 0942. University of Louisville. Belknap Campus School of Medicine. Satmford, B.A.; Matter, S.;

    Fell, R.D., et al. "Cigarette Smoking, Exercise and High Density Lipoprotein Cholesterol" FUNDING: American Heart Association.

    DID YOU KNOW…

    … that smoking improves motor performance?

    Data from:

    0530. London University, Institute of Psychiatry. O'Connor, K.P "Individual Differences in Psychophysiology of Smoking and Smoking Behaviour "

    DID YOU KNOW THAT…

    • Smoking improves human information processing?

    • Higher nicotine cigarettes produce greater improvements [in information processing] than low-nicotine cigarettes?

    • Nicotine can reverse the detrimental effects of scopolamine on performance?

    • Smoking effects are accompanied by increases in EEG arousal and decreases in the latency of the late positive component of the evoked potential?

    Data from:

    0574. University of Reading, Department of Psychology (England). Warburton., D.M.; Wesnes, K. "The Effects of Cigarette Smoking on Human Information Processing and the role of Nicotine in These Effects"

    The WHO, in order to "prove" the dangers of ETS, financed the second largest study in the world on secondhand smoke.

    But the study "backfired" and showed not only that there was no statistical risk of disease on passive smoking, but even a protective effect for those who are exposed to it.

    Not surprisingly, it is said that the WHO tried to hide the study from the media.

  • Dr. Heath Motley

    Don't believe ANYTHING you read about nicotine and tobacco.

    "In human studies, reported performance improvements with post-trial administration of nicotine have all involved associated learning (Mangan and Golding l883; Colrain et al, l992; Warburton et al, l992)…. Nicotine improves performance by increasing the attentional resources available for such strategic processing," [Rusted JM, et al, "Facilitation of memory by post-trial administration of nicotine: evidence for attentional explanation," Psychopharmacology, 108(4):452-5, l992].

    "1. Nicotine improves attention in a wide variety of tasks in healthy volunteers. 2. Nicotine improves immediate and longer-term memory in healthy volunteers. 3. Nicotine improves attention in patients with probable Alzheimer's Disease," [Warburton D M, "Nicotine as a cognitive enhancer," Progress in Neuro-Psychopharmacology and Biological Psychiatry, 16(2): 181-91, Mar l992]

    "Researchers observed lessening of tic frequency and severity 3 minutes after subjects chewed [nicotine] gum, even more so at 10 minutes." [Rickards E H, "Nicotine gum in Tourette's disorder," American Journal of Psychiatry, 149(3):417, Mar l992. Note: the subjects were all children with Tourette's disorder].

    "In humans, nicotine-induced improvement of rapid information processing is particularly well documented…. Preliminary studies have found that some aspects of the cognitive deficit in Alzheimer's disease can be attenuated by nicotine." [Levin E D, "Nicotinic systems and cognitive function," Psychopharmacology, 108(4):417-31, l992]

    "Improvement in attention, learning, reaction time, and problem solving have been reported…. Different processes, including attention, stimulus evaluation, and response selection, appear to be involved in the effect of nicotine on human information processing." [Le Houezec J, Benowitz N L, "Basic and clinical psychopharmacology of nicotine," Clinics in Chest Medicine, 12(4):681-99, Dec l991].

    "Despite the absence of change in memory functioning, these results demonstrate that DAT [Alzheimer's disease] patients have significant perceptual and visual attentional deficits which are improved by nicotine administration." [Jones G M, Sahakian B J, et al, "Effects of acute subcutaneous nicotine on attention, information processing and short-term memory in Alzheimer's disease," Psychopharmacology, 108(4):485-94, l992].

    "When you look at people who smoke, and people who don't smoke…you find those who smoke cigarettes are about half as likely to get Parkinson's disease." [Dr. David Morens of the University of Hawaii School of Public Health as quoted in "Stunned docs discover cigarettes stop Parkinson's," by Roger Field, New York Post, 6/15/95. Dr. Morens and colleagues examined 34 studies on smoking and Parkinson's. Their study was published in the June, l995 issue of Neurology].

    According to a study conducted at Surrey University and published in the journal Psychopharmacology, smokers are more mentally alert at night than non-smokers. Rosemary Brook, spokeswoman for Surrey University's psychopharmacology unit, said, "The results showed that smokers were subsequently able to perform various tests of reaction, memory recall and other related tasks consistently better than the non-smokers," [Reported on the BBC News, 4/8/98, "Cigarettes 'keep you sharp after dark'."

    In a presentation at the 151st annual meeting of the American Psychiatric Association (June 8, l998 in Toronto), Dr. Paul Newhouse of the University of Vermont reported on his research on treating Parkinson's disease with nicotine. "Preliminary analysis shows improvements after acute nicotine administration in several areas of cognitive performance." These areas included reaction time and central processing speed. The researchers also reported that after chronic use of nicotine on Parkinson's patients, motor function and the ability to move also improved. [Reported by Reuters, 6/8/98, "Nicotine patch promising for Parkinson's"].

    "The influence of smoking on the risk of developing ulcerative colitis is well documented. Compared with lifetime nonsmokers, the risk is reduced in smokers…." [Tysk C, Jarnerot G, "Has smoking changed the epidemiology of ulcerative colitis?" Scandinavian Journal of Gastroenterology, 27(6):508-12, Jun l992].

    "When association between cigarette smoking and UC [ulcerative colitis] are examined, never-smokers are approximately three times more likely to develop UC than smokers. A consistent finding from study to study is that quitters have a mildly increased risk of developing UC which suggests that cigarette smoking may have a protective effect," [Lashner B A, "Inflammatory bowel disease: family patterns and risk factors," Comprehensive Therapy, 18(8):2-4, Aug l992].

    "It is beyond doubt that smokers are protected against ulcerative colitis, and the more that is smoked the greater the protection–so those on 25 cigarettes a day or more have a risk as little as one-tenth that of non-smokers," (Dr. Martin Osbourne, surgeon at the Royal Free Hospital in London, as quoted in the Daily Telegraph, 9/7/93).