Association of housing distance in relation to recycling sites on schoolchildren’s cognitive abilities
Aims: We verified the association of housing distance in relation to recycling sites on schoolchildren’s cognitive abilities.
Methods: This is a cross-sectional study, in which the Wechsler Abbreviated Scale of Intelligence was applied to 100 schoolchildren aged 6 to 14 years. Children were divided into a study group (exposed), whose households were located less than 100 meters from recycling sites in a neighborhood in the city of Caxias do Sul, and a control group, whose homes were located more than 150 meters from a recycling site in the same neighborhood or nearby.
Results: Residences located more than 150 meters away from a recycling site can reduce the chance of low intelligence quotient in schoolchildren in the univariate analysis (OR 2.19; 95% CI 1.21-3.95). The full-scale intelligence quotient score was 84 in the exposed group and 95 in the control group (p≤0.01). When adjusted for other potentially harmful variables, higher maternal education was a mitigating factor of distance impact (OR 0.28, 95% CI 0.11-0.72). The difference found among verbal intelligence quotient scores was 14 points (p<0.01); in the performance intelligence quotient, the difference was 4 points (p=0.04).
Conclusions: Living close to waste recycling sites can reduces cognitive abilities in schoolchildren, and this effect seems to be attenuated by maternal education. This association reinforces concerns about the impact of inadequate urban waste management, and may subsidize the creation of public policies that aim to reduce potentially harmful environmental exposures.
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