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 supportĀ Senator Booker’s bill: Superfund Polluter Pays Restoration Act of 2017 (S.2198).

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  • Portage Creek Superfund site on the Kalamazoo River / Jeremy M Wintworth, Creative Commons

EPA advisory group to hold 3 community meetings about Superfund site on Kalamazoo River, Michigan

June 19th, 2019|Comments Off on EPA advisory group to hold 3 community meetings about Superfund site on Kalamazoo River, Michigan

As WWMT News reports, an EPA advisory group will hold three community meetings for the Allied Paper, Portage Creek, Kalamazoo River Superfund Site. These meetings are meant to serve as town halls for the community [...]

  • Aberdeen, NC

Elementary school to be constructed near hazardous waste site in North Carolina

June 17th, 2019|Comments Off on Elementary school to be constructed near hazardous waste site in North Carolina

A new elementary school in Moore County, North Carolina, is to be constructed between two Superfund sites threatened by high levels of air pollution, NC Policy Watch reports. According to the city, the site bears [...]

Put the Super back into Superfund