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Recent research has found that greater toxic air pollution exposure is associated with decreased school performance, even after other socioeconomic and school-level factors have been taken into account. Here, we add nuance to this literature by focusing on those chemicals that adversely affect childhood development, as well as those that cause short- or long-term damage to the nervous and respiratory systems, as these should be more important predictors of poor school performance than, for example, known carcinogens. Using the highly detailed Risk-Screening Environmental Indicators geographic microdata, we are able to isolate known and suspected developmental, neurological, and respiratory toxicants. We find that these pollutants are more negatively correlated with school performance scores than broader measures of pollution. We have previously argued for the theoretical importance of looking at the ascriptive forces of race, class, and place simultaneously, and this assertion is reinforced and refined through this analysis.
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- The consequences of exposure to developmental, neurological, and respiratory toxins for school performance: a closer look at environmental ascription in East Baton Rouge, Louisiana
- Springer Netherlands