Coal is the most aggressive energy sources in the environment. Several adverse outcomes on children’s health exposure to coal pollutants have been reported. Pollutants from coal power plants adversely affect the intellectual development and capacity. The present study aimed to evaluate the intellectual development and associated factors among children living a city under the direct influence (DI) and six neighboring municipalities under the indirect influence (II) of coal mining activity in the largest coal reserve of Brazil. A structured questionnaire was completed by the child’s guardian, and Raven's Progressive Color Matrices were administered to each child to assess intellectual development. A total of 778 children participated. In general, no significant difference was observed between the two cities. The DI city had better socioeconomic conditions than the II municipalities according to family income (< 0.001). The prevalence of children who were intellectually below average or with intellectual disabilities was 22.9%, and there was no significant difference (p > 0.05) between municipalities. In both unadjusted and adjusted analyses, intellectual development was associated with maternal age, marital situation and maternal education level, birth weight, breast feeding, frequent children's daycare, paternal participation in children’s care and child growth. Living in the DI area was not associated with intellectual disability. The results suggest that socioeconomic conditions and maternal and neonatal outcomes are more important than environmental factors for intellectual development of children living in a coal mining area.
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The datasets used and/or analyzed during the current study are available from the corresponding author on reasonable request.
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The authors thank the CAPES for providing doctoral scholarships and express their gratitude to the subjects who provided critical information for this study.
This study was financed in part by the Coordenação de Aperfeiçoamento de Pessoal de Nível Superior-Brasil (CAPES)-Finance Code 001.
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The authors declare that they have no competing interests.
The study was conducted according to all the ethical precepts recommended by Declaration of Helsinki, which regulates research involving human beings. Besides, the study was approved by the Research Ethics Committee in the Health Area of the Federal University of Rio Grande (CEPAS—FURG) under No. 36/2013.
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Dupont-Soares, M., dos Santos, M., Garcia, E.M. et al. Maternal, neonatal and socio-economic factors associated with intellectual development among children from a coal mining region in Brazil. Environ Geochem Health (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10653-021-00817-1
- Neurodevelopmental disorders
- Environmental pollutant
- Coal power plant