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Popul Environ. 2016 Mar;37(3):319-340. Epub 2015 Jul 17.

Residential exposure to air toxics is linked to lower grade point averages among school children in El Paso, Texas, USA.

Author information

1
Department of Sociology and Anthropology, University of Texas at El Paso, 500 W University Ave, El Paso, TX 79902, USA; seclarkreyna@miners.utep.edu.
2
Department of Sociology and Anthropology, University of Texas at El Paso, 500 W University Ave, El Paso TX 79902, USA.
3
Department of Sociology and Anthropology, University of Texas at El Paso, 500 W University Ave, El Paso TX 79902, USA; twcollins@utep.edu.

Abstract

Children in low-income neighborhoods tend to be disproportionately exposed to environmental toxicants. This is cause for concern because exposure to environmental toxicants negatively affect health, which can impair academic success. To date, it is unknown if associations between air toxics and academic performance found in previous school-level studies persist when studying individual children. In pairing the National Air Toxics Assessment (NATA) risk estimates for respiratory and diesel particulate matter risk disaggregated by source, with individual-level data collected through a mail survey, this paper examines the effects of exposure to residential environmental toxics on academic performance for individual children for the first time and adjusts for school-level effects using generalized estimating equations. We find that higher levels of residential air toxics, especially those from non-road mobile sources, are statistically significantly associated with lower grade point averages among fourth and fifth grade school children in El Paso (Texas, USA).

KEYWORDS:

El Paso; Environmental justice; National Air Toxics Assessment; Texas; USA; academic performance; children

PMID:
27034529
PMCID:
PMC4809637
[Available on 2017-03-01]
DOI:
10.1007/s11111-015-0241-8

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