The Kids Aren’t Alright
Hundreds of thousands of children are at risk of developing asthma, cancer, learning disorders, and other diseases because they attend schools built on or near toxic waste sites, according to a new study released yesterday by a coalition called the Child Proofing Our Communities Campaign. The study found that most states and public school systems do not have environmental standards for selecting school locations; as a consequence, cash-strapped districts often choose to build schools on cheap land near environmental hazards. In the five states studied, 600,000 students were attending public schools located within a half-mile of Superfund sites or state-identified toxic waste areas. The study correlated that finding with the sharp increase in environmentally linked diseases among school children in the last two decades.