Association of housing distance in relation to recycling sites on schoolchildren’s cognitive abilities

Keywords: Cognitive dysfunction, solid waste, recycling, intelligence tests


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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Author Biographies

Luciana Cristina Mancio Balico, Universidade de Caxias do Sul, Caxias do Sul, RS, Brasil.

Doutoranda em Ciências da Saúde na Universidade de Caxias do Sul. Psicóloga Clínica em Caxias do Sul, RS, Brasil.

Diane Arbusti, Universidade de Caxias do Sul, Caxias do Sul, RS, Brasil.

Médica graduada pela Universidade de Caxias do Sul. Residente do Serviço de Pediatria do Hospital da Criança Conceição em Porto Alegre, RS, Brasil.

Luciano da Silva Selistre, Universidade de Caxias do Sul, Caxias do Sul, RS, Brasil.

Pós-doutorado em Bioestatística, Biometria e Biologia Evolutiva. Professor do Curso de Medicina e do Programa de Pós-Graduação em Ciências da Saúde na Universidade de Caxias do Sul, RS, Brasil.

Ana Maria Paim Camardelo, Universidade de Caxias do Sul, Caxias do Sul, RS, Brasil.

Doutora em Serviço Social pela Pontifícia Universidade Católica do Rio Grande do Sul. Professora do Curso de Serviço Social, dos Programas de Pós-Graduação em Direito e em Psicologia da Universidade de Caxias do Sul, RS, Brasil.

Emerson Rodrigues da Silva , Universidade de Caxias do Sul, Caxias do Sul, RS, Brasil.

Doutor em Saúde da Criança e do Adolescente pela Universidade de Campinas. Professor do Curso de Medicina e do Programa de Pós-Graduação em Ciências da Saúde da Universidade de Caxias do Sul, RS, Brasil.


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How to Cite
Balico, L. C. M., Arbusti, D. ., Selistre, L. da S., Camardelo, A. M. P., & da Silva , E. R. (2021). Association of housing distance in relation to recycling sites on schoolchildren’s cognitive abilities. Scientia Medica, 31(1), e38664.
Original Articles