Studies have shown that air pollution can cause an impact on children’s brain development.

To reduce exposure to air pollution during pregnancy and to access the impact on child intelligence, researchers of Simon Fraser university collaborated with US and Mangolian scientists to study the benefits of the air filter.

In 2014, a test was done in Ulaanbataar, Mongolia, and 540 pregnant women were recruited to participate in the (UGAAR) study.

According to WHO, this place has the worst air quality, the women recruited were less than 18 weeks pregnant and non-smokers. They were assigned to either the control or intervention group.

HEPA filter air cleaners were provided to the intervention group and were asked to regularly use the filters during their period of pregnancy and as soon as the baby was born the cleaners were removed. 

After 4 years of age, children’s full-scale intelligence quotient (FSIQ) was measured using the Weschler Preschool and Primary Scale of intelligence.

The test found that children born to mothers using the air cleaners had an average FSIQ that was 2.8-points higher than the group that did not use an air cleaner during pregnancy.

Ryan Allen, professor of environmental health in SFU’s Faculty of Health Science said: “These results, combined with evidence from previous studies strongly implicate air pollution as a threat to brain development but the good news is that reducing exposure had Clear benefits”. Children born in the intervention group had significantly greater average verbal comprehension index scores, which is consistent with the result of previous observational studies.

According to WHO, more than 90% of the population breathes air with particulate matter concentrations.

Reducing exposure to air pollution during pregnancy improves children’s cognitive development. 

(With ANI inputs)

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