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Residential Segregation and Disproportionate Exposure to Airborne Carcinogens

Researchers at Washington University in St. Louis published a paper late last year that found carcinogens present in the air of the St. Louis metropolitan area to be highly concentrated in Black and poor neighborhoods. They found that approximately 14% of the census tracks in the city had elevated cancer risk due to exposure to [...]

Environmental Justice Grassroots Groups Fight Back Against Pollution

Pollution is disproportionately killing Black Americans. Hazardous waste facilities are 75% more likely to be in close proximity to the homes of African-Americans than other racial groups. Grassroots environmental justice groups are taking a stand against these issues of pollution and environmental racism and are making a huge impact. Read More Photo by: Matt Rourke—AP

Toxic Tuesday: Dioxin

By Julie Silverman, CHEJ Communications Intern Dioxins are a group of toxic compounds that share similar and distinct chemical structures. They are mainly byproducts of industrial processes, such as waste incineration. In 1979, the EPA banned products containing Polychlorinated Bihphenyls (PCBs), which is a chemical included under the term dioxin. However, dioxins were a major [...]

Toxic Tuesday: Creosote

Creosote is a large mixture of chemicals that is used as a wood preservative in the United States, as well as for roofing, aluminum smelting, and road paving. Houston’s Fifth Ward has been pinpointed as a Cancer Cluster: an area that has a “greater than expected number of cancer cases,” largely due to the community’s [...]

New Report Indicates that Most US Federally Funded Housing is in Close Proximity to Hazardous Waste Sites

A new report released by Earthjustice, the Shriver Center on Poverty Law, and faculty at the University of Chicago’s Abrams Environmental Law Clinic and Columbia University’s Health Justice Advocacy Clinic estimated that 77,000 people living in federally assisted housing in the US are at risk of being poisoned by toxic contamination. The report, Poisonous Homes: [...]

Racial Inequities: From Medical Care to Pollution

By: Julie Silverman, Summer Communications Intern The recent killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, Trayvon Martin, and far too many other Black Americans have brought racial injustices to light in all spheres of life, specifically in terms of police brutality. However, racial disparities, specifically involving Black individuals have continued to pervade society in [...]

$550M Settlement with Monsanto Includes the Cleanup of Contaminated Baltimore Waters

Bayer, the current parent company and owner of Monsanto, has reached a $550 million settlement with 13 governmental entities in order to clean up contaminated Baltimore waterways. Bayer officials claim that Monsanto legally manufactured PCBs until 1977. PCBs were widely used in paints, lubricants, and electrical equipment until they were banned in the US in [...]

Polluting Companies Turn to State Environmental Regulatory Agencies to Lower Regulations During Covid-19

While the EPA continues to cut environmental regulations, the country’s most polluting industries are now turning their focus to state environmental regulatory agencies. Many companies have recently asked state regulators to relax or delay pollution monitoring requirements, claiming that Covid-19 has made them unable to comply with laws that protect the public from the health [...]

Superfund and Climate Change Events: A Personal Account of Flooding and the Risk of Toxin Release in Midland, Michigan

Climate change has resulted in devastating flooding and natural disasters that have overwhelmed and greatly impacted communities. The Edenville dam along the Tittabawassee River in mid-Michigan collapsed due to large amounts of rainfall on May 19th, resulting in the collapse of another nearby dam. The resulting impacts of these events led to extreme flooding and [...]

Flooding at Dioxin Superfund Site in Midland, Michigan

Midland, Michigan is still assessing the damages after torrential rain and dam failure flooded the area. The height of concern was the status of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Saginaw River Dredge Material Disposal Facility that houses dioxin contaminated sediments that could have spread from the storm water. The facility appears to have remained in tact; however, [...]

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