The Effects of Superfund Sites on Health

Continued exposure to the hazardous substances released from Superfund sites into the air, groundwater, and surface water can be incredibly detrimental to human health in communities within and surrounding the site. Research has shown higher levels of cancer, birth defects, developmental disabilities, and other serious health issues in communities near Superfund sites.

Children have a much higher rate of exposure to environmental toxicants than adults, as they have higher intakes of water, food, and air than adults in relation to body weight; additionally, this higher rate of exposure is exacerbated by common behaviors of children, such as hand-to-mouth behavior, and playing close to the ground when outside. Because of this higher rate of toxicant exposure, as well as their lessened ability to metabolize and excrete toxicants, children living or going to school on or near Superfund sites are particularly vulnerable to health issues. In addition to increased levels of childhood cancer and birth defects, exposure to hazardous substances released from Superfund sites has been correlated with higher rates of suspension from school and repeating grade levels, lower standardized test scores, and decreased cognitive functioning.

Other populations that are particularly vulnerable to the detrimental health effects posed by Superfund sites include pregnant women and the elderly. Research has shown that pregnant women living near a Superfund site that has not been cleaned up have a 20 to 25% higher risk of having a child with congenital birth defects than those that live near a site that has been cleaned up. The elderly are at a higher risk of developing health problems related to the release of toxicants from Superfund sites, as they generally have higher rates of comorbid conditions and decreased immune system activity.

Put the Super back into Superfund

Want to see polluters pay for their messes rather than taxpayers? Contact your representatives and tell them to support Senator Booker’s bill: Superfund Polluter Pays Restoration Act of 2017 (S.2198).

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EPA Assessing Toxic Threats in Hurricane’s Path

September 14th, 2018|Comments Off on EPA Assessing Toxic Threats in Hurricane’s Path

The EPA assessing the vulnerability of at least 40 toxic waste sites that could be damaged by Hurricane Florence in Virginia, North Carolina and South Carolina. But that review does not include dozens of inland [...]

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Leaders meet with EPA about Superfund Sites

September 11th, 2018|Comments Off on Leaders meet with EPA about Superfund Sites

NEWS ADVISORY September 11, 2018 Contact: Lois Gibbs, Peoples Action/Center for Health, Environment & Justice Phone: 703-627-9483 Lgibbs@chej.org “Mother of Superfund,” Lois Gibbs and Local Leaders Deliver Strong Messages to Congress to Reinstate “Polluter Pay” [...]

Put the Super back into Superfund