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A recent report by USA Today claims that many of Charleston’s schools are ranked in the highest percentiles (which is a bad thing in this case) with respect to exposure to harmful pollutants. “USA Today used an EPA model to track the path of industrial pollution and mapped the locations of almost 128,000 schools to determine the levels of toxic chemicals outside. The potential problems that emerged were widespread, insidious and largely undressed.”

Of the 128,000 schools analyzed, many of those most affected by surrounding pollutants are located in the Charleston area. Here is a list of the top five schools exposed to the most air pollution in Charleston (all of which are in the top 1 or 2 percentile nationally!):

1. Chicora Elementary School (173)
2. St. Johns Catholic School (437)
3. Charlestowne Academy (447)
4. Academic Magnet High School (728)
5. N. Charleston High School (849)

According to the report, schools in the Charleston area are exposed to high amounts of toxic chemicals such as manganese, chromium, nickel, sulfuric acid and copper. The top five contributing sources include:

1. Charleston Marine Containers Inc.
2. Meadwestvaco Corporation
3. Detyens Shipyard
4. Rhodia Inc.
5. Saint-Gobain Vetrotex America Inc.

This study shows that nearly 125 schools in the Charleston area are exposed to these dangerous toxins. To read more, click here.

This could very well be a sign of deeper issues. After all, chemicals, toxins and pollutants that begin as air contamination eventually make their way to the surface of the earth and eventually, into our waterways. This chain of events creates an incredibly tightly woven web that connects and effects everyone and everything, especially our health.