Mapping Cancer Risk From Toxic Air Pollution

An investigation by ProPublica has produced something the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has never been able to complete: a nationwide map of the cancer risks created by industrial sources of air pollution.

1 minute read

November 3, 2021, 12:00 PM PDT

By Planetizen

Air Pollution

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Al Shaw and Lylla Younes reveal the findings of a new ProPublica analysis into the toxic air pollution emitted into communities around the country.

Here's how Shaw and Younes summarize the investigation and the findings:

ProPublica’s analysis of five years of modeled EPA data identified more than 1,000 toxic hot spots across the country and found that an estimated 250,000 people living in them may be exposed to levels of excess cancer risk that the EPA deems unacceptable.

According to the article, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency collects data from facilities known to emit large amounts of toxic air pollution, but the agency has never released thus data.

To finally publishing this data for public consumption, the source article (also linked below) maps cancer risk from industrial pollution.

The big, interactive coverage of the investigation also includes a separate article, credited to Younes and Shaw in addition to Lisa Song and Maya Miller. Here's how that article summarizes the stakes of the data revealed by the investigation:

From the urban sprawl of Houston to the riverways of Virginia, air pollution from industrial plants is elevating the cancer risk of an estimated quarter of a million Americans to a level the federal government considers unacceptable.

Tuesday, November 2, 2021 in ProPublica

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