Journal of Community Health

, 34:539 | Cite as

Toxic Chemical Releases, Health Effects, and Productivity Losses in the United States

  • Chau-Sa Ho
  • Diane Hite
Original Paper


In this paper we examine the impacts of toxic chemical releases on labor productivity. The hypothesis is that exposure to releases results in chronic or acute illnesses, which increases number of work days lost. To test the hypothesis we combine data from the National Health Interview Survey with data from US Environmental Protection Agency’s Toxic Release Inventory, using an instrumental variable approach to control for endogeneity of subjective binary health status. We find that the survey respondents are significantly more likely to have increased work days lost as their exposure to toxic releases increases and that work days lost increase at an increasing rate with diminished health status.


Toxic releases General health status Work days lost 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Center for Human Resource ResearchThe Ohio State UniversityColumbusUSA
  2. 2.Department of Agricultural Economics and Rural SociologyAuburn UniversityAuburnUSA

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