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The Proximity of High Volume Developmental Neurotoxin Polluters to Schools: Vulnerable Populations at Risk

Author

Listed:
  • Cristina Legot
  • Bruce London
  • John Shandra

Abstract

A substantial amount of environmental justice research has taken the form of “proximity studies” that analyze the race and class composition of populations living in close proximity to general sources of pollution. Such studies often find disproportionate minority, poverty, and low-income populations proximate to the pollution source. This proximity study has a different starting point. We begin by locating nearly 700 of the nation’s highest volume polluters of specific toxins that put children’s health and learning abilities at risk: developmental neurotoxins. We then examine (a) the numbers of schools and children located within two miles of each polluter, and (b) the race and class compositions of the populations within two miles. The result is a study of the proximity of vulnerable populations to pollution that highlights the vulnerability of children, not just that of minorities and the poor. We find thousands of schools and hundreds of thousands of children at risk. We also find that a substantial proportion of the high volume polluters studied are surrounded by disproportionate minority, poverty, and low-income populations.

Suggested Citation

  • Cristina Legot & Bruce London & John Shandra, 2010. "The Proximity of High Volume Developmental Neurotoxin Polluters to Schools: Vulnerable Populations at Risk," Working Papers wp224, Political Economy Research Institute, University of Massachusetts at Amherst.
  • Handle: RePEc:uma:periwp:wp224
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    File URL: https://www.peri.umass.edu/fileadmin/pdf/working_papers/working_papers_201-250/WP224.pdf
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    Keywords

    proximity studies; environmental inequality; developmental toxins; neurotoxins; high-volume polluters; vulnerable populations: race and class; schools and children;

    JEL classification:

    • Q53 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Air Pollution; Water Pollution; Noise; Hazardous Waste; Solid Waste; Recycling
    • I19 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Other
    • I29 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Other
    • J15 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Minorities, Races, Indigenous Peoples, and Immigrants; Non-labor Discrimination

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