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Air pollution rots our brains. Is that why we don't do anything about it? | James Bridle

Carbon monoxide and lead make us intellectually slower and less flexible. We can't ignore these dangers any longerIn Mike Judge's 2006 comedy, Idiocracy, the participants in an ill-fated cryogenics experiment awake 500 years in the future to discover that due to dysgenic mutation, anti-intellectualism and corporate capitalism the intelligence of the population has fallen to dangerous levels. The president is sponsored by fast-food chain Carl's Jr., and crops are failing because the fields are irrigated with energy drinks. The film was abandoned by its studio and largely ignored at the box office, but its subsequent cult status might be in danger once again, this time from the overbearing reality of present events.Researchers from Beijing University and Yale School of Health published research last month showing that people who live in major cities - which is, today, most of us - are not only suffering from increases in respiratory illnesses and other chronic conditions due to air pollution, but are losing our cognitive functions. The study showed that high pollution levels lead to significant drops in test scores in language and arithmetic, with the impact on some participants equivalent to losing several years of education. Other studies have shown that high air pollution is linked to premature birth, low birth weight, mental illness in children and dementia in the elderly. Continue reading...
Zdroj: The Guardian

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