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Superfund Cleanups and Children's Lead Exposure

Author

Listed:
  • Heather Klemick
  • Henry Mason
  • Karen Sullivan

Abstract

This study evaluates the effect of EPA’s Superfund cleanup program on children’s lead exposure. We linked two decades of blood lead level (BLL) measurements from children in six states with data on Superfund sites and other lead risk factors. We used quasi-experimental methods to identify the causal effect of proximity to Superfund cleanups on rates of elevated BLL. We estimated a difference-in-difference model comparing the change in elevated BLL of children closer to versus farther from lead-contaminated sites before, during, and after cleanup. We also estimated a triple difference model including children near hazardous sites with minimal to no lead contamination as a comparison group. We used spatial fixed effects and matching to minimize potential bias from unobserved differences between the treatment and comparison groups. Results indicate that Superfund cleanups lowered the risk of elevated BLL for children living within 2 kilometers of lead-contaminated sites 8 to 18 percent.

Suggested Citation

  • Heather Klemick & Henry Mason & Karen Sullivan, 2019. "Superfund Cleanups and Children's Lead Exposure," NCEE Working Paper Series 201901, National Center for Environmental Economics, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
  • Handle: RePEc:nev:wpaper:wp201901
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    File URL: https://www.epa.gov/environmental-economics/superfund-cleanups-and-childrens-lead-exposure
    File Function: First version, 2019
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Hollingsworth, Alex & Rudik, Ivan, 2019. "The effect of leaded gasoline on elderly mortality: Evidence from regulatory exemptions," SocArXiv rdy6g, Center for Open Science.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Blood lead levels; child health; lead exposure; Superfund; contaminated land;

    JEL classification:

    • I14 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health and Inequality
    • I18 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Government Policy; Regulation; Public Health
    • Q51 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Valuation of Environmental Effects
    • Q53 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Air Pollution; Water Pollution; Noise; Hazardous Waste; Solid Waste; Recycling

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