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Scientists have revealed that air pollution may be responsible for significant reduction in intelligence. Research conducted for World Health Organization (WHO) in China showed that air pollution was responsible for notable falls in student test scores for languages and arithmetic. Chinese study is called, " impact of exposure to air pollution on cognitive performance". It was published in journal called, "Proceedings of National Academy of Sciences". study took place over period of four years. Researchers analyzed verbal and arithmetic tests taken by 20,000 people of all ages. They said: "Polluted air may impede cognitive ability as people become older."

Researchers say their study is warning to the rest of world, especially to those who live in cities. WHO says over 91 per cent of world population live in areas with toxic air. Air pollution is currently fourth highest cause of deaths worldwide. researchers discovered that longer people were exposed to polluted air, greater was damage to their intelligence. They equated impact of air pollution to losing year's worth of education. For those aged over 60, this could be equivalent of several years of lost education. Researcher Dr Xi Chen warned: "There is no shortcut to solve this issue. Governments really need to take concrete measures to reduce air pollution."

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