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Here’s What Living Near a Toxic Waste Site Can Do to Kids’ Grades

Children conceived after sites are cleaned up do better than their older siblings, a study finds. About 80 million Americans live within three miles of a Superfund location.
Mine Waste Spill Superfund
Photographer: Brennan Linsley/AP Photo

Children who grow up near toxic waste sites are more likely to suffer from cognitive disabilities, repeat grades, score lower on tests, and misbehave in school than siblings born after the pollution has been cleaned up, new research suggests.

It's a striking sign of the long-term toll, often hard to assess, that pollution takes on children and communities, and it suggests that the economic benefits of cleaning up toxic sites may be greater than previously estimated.