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The Effects of Traffic Air Pollution in and around Schools on Executive Function and Academic Performance in Children: A Rapid Review

Nicola Gartland Orcid Logo, Halah E. Aljofi Orcid Logo, Kim Dienes Orcid Logo, Luke Aaron Munford, Anna L. Theakston, Martie van Tongeren

International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, Volume: 19, Issue: 2, Start page: 749

Swansea University Author: Kim Dienes Orcid Logo

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DOI (Published version): 10.3390/ijerph19020749

Abstract

This review summarises the extant literature investigating the relation between traffic-related air pollution levels in and around schools and executive functioning in primary-school-aged children. An electronic search was conducted using Web of Science, Scopus, and Education Literature Datasets dat...

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Published in: International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
ISSN: 1660-4601
Published: MDPI AG 2022
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URI: https://cronfa.swan.ac.uk/Record/cronfa60446
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Abstract: This review summarises the extant literature investigating the relation between traffic-related air pollution levels in and around schools and executive functioning in primary-school-aged children. An electronic search was conducted using Web of Science, Scopus, and Education Literature Datasets databases (February 2020). Review articles were also searched, and forwards and backwards searches of identified studies were performed. Included papers were assessed for quality. We included 9 separate studies (published in 13 papers). Findings suggest that indoor and outdoor particulate matter with a diameter of 2.5 μm or less (PM2.5) negatively influences executive function and academic achievement and that indoor and outdoor nitrogen dioxide (NO2) adversely affects working memory. Evidence for the effects of particulate matter with a diameter of 10 μm or less (PM10) is limited but suggests potential wide-ranging negative effects on attention, reasoning, and academic test scores. Air pollution in and around schools influences executive function and appears to impede the developmental trajectory of working memory. Further research is required to establish the extent of these effects, reproducibility, consequences for future attainment, and place within the wider context of cognitive development.
Item Description: Data Availability Statement: No new data were created or analyzed in this study. Data sharing is not applicable to this article.
Keywords: traffic-related air pollution; cognitive function; working memory; school; children; academic achievement; review
College: College of Human and Health Sciences
Funders: This research was funded by Global Action Plan (GAP).
Issue: 2
Start Page: 749