Al Jazeera Feature: Houston’s Cancer Cluster | Fault Lines
In Houston, Texas, residents of two historically African-American neighbourhoods with high rates of certain cancers are seeking answers after toxic waste from a nearby railroad yard contaminated their environment. Some suspect the pollution is the cause of a cancer cluster discovered in their area in 2019. The groundwater beneath more than 100 properties is contaminated with creosote, a chemical mixture classified as a probable carcinogen that was used for nearly 75 years at the railroad yard. But railroad giant Union Pacific, which owns the yard, says local residents could not have been exposed to the contaminant, and claims the creosote has nothing to do with the cancers. The Texas public health agency hasn’t yet decided if they will investigate what could be causing the illnesses. How do communities living alongside polluting industries and toxic waste look for answers and accountability when they get sick? Fault Lines investigates the cancer cluster in east Houston and follows a community’s search for justice.