The Price of Progress - New Jersey's Toxic Legacy

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This documentary, in the form of a satellite map, tracks the toxic Superfund history of one of the 13 original colonies on its path to becoming the 7th leading U.S. state in Gross Domestic Product (GDP). New Jersey has the largest volume of Superfund sites in the nation. As you will see, the areas with the most toxic sites just happen to be along the old Post Road that aided in expanding the national economy. Many of these toxic sites are the result of smelting, and as a result are locations that have a long history of manufacturing. This contamination was passed through several owners who themselves limited their assumed liabilities by selling the land to someone else. Eventually the toxicity levels became so dangerous that action had to be taken. Some landowners and manufacturers did the right thing by cleaning up their land, while others conveniently went bankrupt and left the problem to the government to clean up. Others had to be forced by the government to clean up their toxic mess.

In a published study in the journal Biological Trace Element, Arizona State University researchers reported children with autism had higher levels of several toxic metals in their blood and urine compared to typical children. This would explain why New Jersey has one of the highest rates of autism.