Toxic air pollution can be detrimental to a child’s development, yet many schools across the United States have high levels of toxic hazards in the air. Where do these toxic hazards come from? They mainly derive from the factories, plants, and other facilities that regularly emit air pollutants and are located close to schools.
Which U.S. schools have the most toxic air for their students to breathe?
This chart from AAA State of Play ranks the top 50 public schools in America that were found to have the most toxic air. These 50 schools were found by analyzing ‘Air Toxics at School’ data compiled by the Political Economy Research Institute (PERI); a data bank that includes every single school in the United States, from public schools to higher education buildings.
The national average toxic hazard concentration is 4,515; which means that all fifty schools on the list have a toxic hazard concentration level that is at least 100x the national average! The number one school on the list is in Verona, MO and has an unbelievably high toxic hazard concentration of nearly three million. That’s 665 times the national average, and double the toxic hazard concentration of the second-place school.
AAA State of Play’s in-depth analysis of PERI’s data doesn’t just stop at the 50 schools with the most toxic air though; they also analyzed the top 5 chemicals that were found to create the biggest toxic hazard at each school, as well as the most common toxic hazard found in schools in each state. One chemical toxic stands out as being the biggest air pollutant, and that is lead compounds. Lead compounds were found to be the most common toxic hazard in a majority of schools across the United States.
Did a public school from your city end up on the list of the 50 schools that were found to have the most toxic air?