Associations of Traffic-Related Air Pollution with Children’s Attention Spans: a Factor Analysis
Shunqin Wang1,2, Jinliang Zhang3, Jiangwu Yao1,4, Minquan Du1
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1School and Hospital of Stomatology, Wuhan University, Wuhan 430079, China
2Xiamen Children’s Hospital, Xiamen 361006, China
3Division of Environmental Pollution and Health, Chinese Research Academy of Environmental Sciences,
Beijing 100101, China
4Department of Oral Biology and Biomaterial, Xiamen Stomatological Research Institute,
Xiamen 361008, China
Submission date: 2016-01-11
Final revision date: 2016-03-19
Acceptance date: 2016-03-19
Publication date: 2016-07-22
Pol. J. Environ. Stud. 2016;25(4):1791–1797
To evaluate the associations between traffic-related air pollution (TRAP) and children’s attention spans, an analysis was performed in a cross-sectional epidemiological study. Two primary schools were chosen based on the levels of traffic density and ambient air pollutants. School A is located in a clean area and School B in a polluted area. Two-hundred and eighty-two students from three third-grade classes (9-10 years of age) (School A, 136; School B, 146) participated in five computerized-based neurobehavioral tests. Neurobehavioral test results were used as the independent variables for component extraction by factor analysis, and two main compositions – visual memory factor and attention factor – were extracted. After controlling the potential confounding factors, we found that children from School B at the polluted area had lower scores of attention factor than those from School A in the clean area (β = -0.300, p = 0.016), and girls obtained higher scores than boys (β = 0.317, p = 0.011). In conclusion, exposure to TRAP was significantly associated with decreased attention score of school-aged urban children, and the association was significantly more evident in boys than girls.