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The Developmental Consequences of Superfund Sites


We use population-level data on all Florida children born between 1994 and 2002 to examine the long-term effects of prenatal exposure to environmental toxicants from a Superfund (toxic waste) site. We compare siblings who faced different toxic exposures during gestation because of Superfund site cleanup (or, in other specifications, because of a family move). Children exposed to toxic waste while gestating have substantially worse cognitive and behavioral outcomes than do their unaffected siblings. These results are much larger than what would have been predicted were the effects of Superfund site exposure operating solely through standard measures of birth outcomes.


Source: Journal of Labor Economics (2020). The Developmental Consequences of Superfund Sites.