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So logically living and working in the countryside is optimum for your IQ rather than polluted cities and areas?

The countryside can have some bad environmental problems too (expansion of fracking in the rural Midwest of America, etc).

Does fracking cause much air pollution of the type discussed in the article? I thought the main issue was groundwater and earth quakes , and methane gas release / flaring.

Plus there are many countryside areas with no oil.

Well to their point, there is more wood, brush or other similar types of burning in rural areas. Especially wood in the US as it is the source of heating homes in rural areas. Bonfires, etc are also more likely.

Whether or not that translates into more risk for your exposure to small particles is probably related to where you are (e.g. are you inside the house while the wood is burning, probably, so you are close to the source of it and probably have a lot of small particles around your house that get brought in every-time you open the door).

If its so rural that its just you for some distance then this might offset the fact that your wood burning stove is (probably) not providing any sort of filtering that a catalytic converter, control systems to more fully burn the fuel (so there aren't as many byproducts), or other devices normally used to remove byproducts of combustion. So it comes down to which of those byproducts are most toxic to you comparatively to other forms of pollution, the density of those particles and where you are in relation to them is going to determine your daily exposure in your environment.

Pretty sure there's more smoke from forest fires near California cities than smoke from brush fires in rural towns.

I don't know of anyone who uses a wood stove. Most would use natural gas, propane, or electric. Electric is common until you get too far North, then it's cheaper to get fuel.

It's very nice to live out here. You can see the stars and breathe fresh air.

Source: live in rural town.

Wondering where the optimum place for humans to live is, assuming around healthy agricultural practices (away from BigAg) without to much wood smoke pollution

The bushfires act as a counterbalance in Australia ...

Too true. I live near a significant recent bush fire & had my first run for a couple of weeks this morning - clear breathable air is a joy! These periods are pretty uncommon however - compared to the regular temp inversions & associated low air quality in Brisbane, for example.

Admittedly with the current climate collapse gaining pace at breakneck speed, it's possible that this may be the 'new normal' for the Australian bush very soon.

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