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Urban Planning, Environment and Health


Citizen science to analyze the effect of pollution on the cognitive function of adolescents

2018 - 2020
Xavier Basagaña (ISGlobal)
Funded by

The scientific goal of this project is to study whether air pollution in schools can affect attention processes of adolescents. The confirmation of the link between air pollution and attention processes will be useful to design prevention strategies with great potential benefits for society, because attention is closely linked to learning, cognitive improvement and academic performance.

The project aims to evaluate this association using an experimental design, avoiding the problems of existing studies in humans, mostly observational and therefore subject to residual confounding by sociodemographic variables. To do this from a RRI (Responsible Research and Innovation) perspective, the study has two main aims: to open science and to empower citizens (particularly adolescents, teachers, families ...).

Specifically, 2,500 students of 3rd ESO grade will participate as study subjects and as co-producers. As study subjects, each class of 30 students will be randomly divided into two groups and assigned a classroom with or without an air purifier, and their results on attention tests will be linked to the air pollution levels. As co-producers, students will first replicate a school version of a published research project on the effect of pollution on respiratory capacity, to train and empower themselves in research. Then, they will participate in the design and development of scientific research of the project, as well as in the dissemination of results in public conferences that serve to empower the community in adopting new public health measures aimed at reducing harmful environmental parameters in schools.

Total Funding

85.733 euros


Our Team

Principal Investigator (PI)

ISGlobal Team

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