The understanding that climate change and air pollution affect the developing brain has grown exponentially in the last 20 years. Research has now linked prenatal as well as postnatal air pollution exposure to reduced IQ and other cognitive problems, developmental disorders such as ADHD and autism, depression and anxiety, and even structural changes in the brains of children. Research has also shown how climate-related displacement results in disruption of education and mental health problems such as post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety, and depression in children. These conditions often persist, affecting health and brain function in adulthood. They also add to the list of harms that have been more widely recognized as being related to climate change and air pollution: heat-related illness, drowning and physical trauma from severe storms and floods, premature birth and low birth weight, asthma, and other respiratory disease.What Climate Change Is Already Doing to Children’s Brains | Time
As we learn more about the health impacts of climate change, it’s clear how much worse this is than we thought previously.