Every year, 4.2 million people die because of air pollution throughout the world. ProPublica has now generated an impressively comprehensive map depicting the worst places in the United States for hazardous, cancer-causing air pollution. The map is on data from the Environmental Protection Agency of the United States of America (EPA).
ProPublica is a non-profit journalistic organization that examines power abuses. Sign up to have our most important articles sent to your inbox as soon as they published. It is no secret that industrial facilities pollute the atmosphere.
For the first time, a new ProPublica investigation reveals how much dangerous air pollution they leak — and how much the chemicals they release might increase cancer risk in their neighborhoods. ProPublica is study of five years of EPA data discovered over 1,000 hazardous hot spots around the country, with an estimated 250,000 individuals living in them potentially exposed to levels of excess cancer risk that the EPA considers intolerable.
ProPublica examined the data and its limitations (which are described here) and discovered that over 250,000 individuals in the United States reside close enough to over 1,000 hazardous hotspots. They believe these patients exposed to contaminants in the air, which have linked to an increase in cancer incidence.
“The information on which our study is based has been gathered by the agency for a long time. In a summary of their findings, the team states, “Thousands of facilities across the country that are deemed big emitters of harmful air pollution submit a report to the government each year on their chemical emissions.”
“However, the government has never made this information available to the public in a way that allows them to comprehend the hazards of inhaling the air where they reside.” We computed and visualized the estimated increased cancer risk from industrial sources across the country using information received between 2014 and 2018.”
The EPA considers a cancer risk of one in 10,000 acceptable. That indicates that for every 10,000 individuals living in that location, one extra instance of cancer will develop after a lifetime of exposure. The map created by ProPublica identified regions where the cancer risk is more than 1 in 100,000, which is ten times lower than the EPA’s criterion. The whole map of your area may see here if you wish to look it up.