Between 1984 and 1998, people living in Arica were involuntarily exposed to metal-containing waste stored in the urban area. The study aims to determine whether children who lived near the waste disposal site during early childhood experienced negative effects on their cognitive development. The cognitive performance was assessed using the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children. The exposure variable was defined by the year of birth in three categories: (1) Pre-remediation (born before 1999); (2) During-remediation (born between 1999 and 2003); and (3) Post-remediation (born after 2003). In the crude analysis, a difference of 10 points in the IQ average was observed between the group born in the pre- (81.9 points) and post-remediation period (91.1 points). The difference between both groups was five times higher as compared to children of similar age and socioeconomic status in other cities of Chile. This result could be related with a period of high potential for exposure to this contaminated site.
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