If not of the pollution, people have grown conscious of their effects and after-effects. They have started worrying about more than just asthma and other respiratory problems. This is specially occurring in the Ohio River Valley along the Ohio-West Virginia border, where people now breathe the nation’s most unhealthy factory air. People fear if the daily dose of toxic pollution is slowing the academic and physical development of their children! These factories annually send into the air hundreds of thousands of pounds of manganese dust. It is a heavy metal that can harm the brain and nervous system.
Biologist Dick Wittberg has been pressing for years for a full-blown government study to determine if those releases are harming the children in his hometown of Marietta, Ohio. Wittberg heads the mid-Ohio Valley Health Department. It was he, who took part in a study that compared Marietta children with those in a similar-sized Ohio town on academic and physical tests. The result was — the Marietta kids fared significantly worse.