Children attending hundreds of schools across the U.S. may be breathing in air polluted with dangerous carcinogens, a new report claims.
USA Today carried out an eight-month study of more than 128,000 educational institutions around the country to determine the quality of the surrounding air.
As part of its analysis, the publication solicited information from nearby factories and industrial plants about the chemicals they used in their processes.
It found that students at as many as 435 schools could be exposed to dangerous levels of toxic chemicals – which raises concerns about how this exposure could affect their health and development.
The newspaper also tells the story of a suburban Cincinnati elementary school which was forced to close in 2005 after the state EPA found carcinogens measuring 50 times greater than acceptable limits. A plastics plant across the street was responsible for the pollution.
In response to the report, the Center for Health, Environment and Justice released a statement that called on the government to act to protect the nation’s children by providing guidelines that limit a school’s proximity to toxic contamination sites.