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Author Topic: Pollution  (Read 16586 times)

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Re: Pollution
« Reply #240 on: September 22, 2015, 07:16:32 pm »
Air Pollution Near Kids’ Homes Linked to Lower Grades at School  :(

Academic performance of minority students shows disproportionate effects from air pollution, according to a study in El Paso.

By Alana Fichman

More than 760,000 trucks pass through El Paso’s two entry points from Mexico each year; it is the highest-ranked city for carbon monoxide levels in Texas and rates eighth in the nation for particulate pollution. Traces of air pollution can be found in the school classroom, affecting minority students disproportionately.

Researchers from the University of Texas show that the overall GPA of fourth- and fifth-graders in public schools dropped 0.02–0.04 points for every one standard deviation increase in greater exposure to toxic substances in the air. Despite excessive truck traffic, non-road sources were shown to have the greatest effect, including pollution from an international airport, a bi-national freight station, and a military base.

Not dramatic, but significant

The effects on student grades aren’t dramatic, acknowledges Sara E. Grineski, Ph.D., University of Texas–El Paso, but she argues that we should definitely still pay attention. 

According to the study, “Air toxic exposures may not dramatically affect children’s school performance at a population level,“ but, researchers add, “Effects appear to be insidious, since they are mild, unlikely to be perceived, and hence unlikely to be addressed in any way.”

Researchers measured air toxicity based on the the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s National Air Toxics Assessment (NATA). All but one substance was shown to correlate negatively with student performance.

This is not the first study to correlate pollution and academic performance. However, previous studies have used standardized testing and air pollution levels based on school locations rather than students’ homes, where kids spend the majority of their time.

How school performance relates to air quality

School performance and absenteeism are predicted to relate to air toxicity in at least two ways:

•as a cause of asthma and respiratory illnesses, preventing attendance

•as a directly damaging impact on cognitive and neurological development

These researchers “underscore the continuing need to emphasize children as a vulnerable population in EJ [environmental justice] research and activism.”

Hope deferred maketh the heart sick: but when the desire cometh, it is a tree of life. Pr. 13:12


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