A new study of almost 2,700 primary school-aged children suggests road-traffic noise significantly slows the development of crucial memory and attention skills.
The Guardian reports that researchers analysed results from 38 schools in the Spanish city of Barcelona, in what is the first study to assess the impact of traffic noise on child cognitive development over time and to determine the impact of peaks in noise.
The research found that children exposed to about three times more traffic in the street than other pupils had memory development that was 23% slower and attention ability development 5% slower over a year.
The scientists said many schools suffered noise pollution and that measures such as rerouting traffic away from schools could help reduce noise and air pollution.
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