Wednesday, November 03, 2021

Poison in the Air

ProPublica has released a new interactive map which identifies where industrial facilities are increasing the cancer risks of nearby populations by releasing toxic air pollution into the environment. According to ProPublica's analysis of EPA data around a quarter of a million Americans are being exposed to polluted emissions from industrial plants. Air pollution which is increasing their risks of developing cancer.

ProPublica has a long history of mapping Environmental Protection Agency data to expose how and where corporations and government agencies are releasing dangerous levels of pollution. In 2017 ProPublica released an interactive map, Open Burns, Ill Winds, showing locations where the military use open burn sites to dispose of hazardous material, at a potentially huge cost to the health of people living nearby. In 2019, in Louisiana Toxic Air, ProPublica revealed the locations of chemical plants in 'Cancer Alley' (along the Mississippi) and visualized the concentrations of toxic chemicals detected in the state.

ProPublica's latest map, The Most Detailed Map of Cancer-Causing Industrial Air Pollution in the U.S., identifies toxic pollution hot-spots and allows you to investigate the levels of air pollution in your own neighborhood. If you enter your address into the map you can discover how far the nearest toxic air pollution hot-spot to your home is located. You can then click on that hot-spot to view a detailed breakdown of the health risks that it contains.

ProPublica's map colors locations based on the estimated excess lifetime cancer risk from industrial sources. It reveals the incremental lifetime cancer risk of locations based on industrial air pollution levels and identifies the locations of the facilities which are releasing that toxic pollution into the environment.

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