Toxic chemicals dumped in your back yard?
January 23, 2003 8:52 AM   Subscribe

Toxic Chemical Dump report by ZIP code. The U.S. Public Interest Research Group has organized information from the EPA on toxic chemical releases. You can get maps of different types of chemicals (carcinogens, reproductive toxins, dioxins, etc.) released by state, download Excel spreadsheets by state organized by ZIP code, or download their complete report. I think this is just for the 2000 calendar year. (via The Wall Street Journal)
posted by meep (12 comments total)
I used to live in one of the top 3 mercury hotspots in the US.

It didn't effect property values one bit, even with all the SUV's zooming around bearing their cargo of autistic kids rocking to and fro.....
posted by troutfishing at 9:02 AM on January 23, 2003

trout: did you say SUV? oh crap...

but in related news: learn about what we are doing about these things and find your own local superfund site
posted by Big_B at 9:17 AM on January 23, 2003

Big_B - It's true! They were NOT using.....errrr.....a...station wagons! It was a very affluent town.

The town I live in now actually has a large incinerator, but the air is much cleaner. An incinerator built in 1998 is very, very different - dramatically cleaner - beast than a 50's incinerator.

The "autistic/"non station-wagon" town I used to live in was ringed by old, dirty incinerators and so the mercury (from old batteries, thermometers, and other stuff people threw into the trash) would gently waft down out of the air, settling on the $500,000 homes and the people who lived there.
posted by troutfishing at 9:35 AM on January 23, 2003

The spreadsheets are rather comprehensive. Emissions are broken down by air & water, by zip code, by county, and by the company/site that released the pollutants.

Still, I believe this is only for one year. It really wasn't clear to me what the time period was. Looking at my state, NY, I sure am glad I don't live in Rochester.
posted by meep at 9:41 AM on January 23, 2003

jpeg maps?! what's the point of releasing this "data" as flat images? the spreadsheets make this data a bit more useable, but come on...
posted by badstone at 9:55 AM on January 23, 2003

...all the SUV's zooming around bearing their cargo of autistic kids rocking to and fro...

That image will probably stay with me all day, especially so on the drive home. Sums up so many things, doesn't it?
posted by Shane at 10:05 AM on January 23, 2003

Scorecard is a comprehensive and useful resource for anyone interested in this type of information.
posted by ajr at 10:22 AM on January 23, 2003

None of the drop down menus has Hawaii information available. A rather glaring omission to me.
posted by scottymac at 10:27 AM on January 23, 2003

Perhaps there were no reported emissions in hawaii. I wouldn't know. I noticed that the only towns, counties, and zip codes in the spreadsheets were those which had reported emissions of pollutants. If none occurred in Hawaii in 2000, it would have no entry...
posted by meep at 11:38 AM on January 23, 2003

Apparently DC had no emissions either, by that logic, despite that the surrounding areas seem to have plenty!
posted by Pollomacho at 12:40 PM on January 23, 2003

I hate to just complain...but I find (like badstone) the jpeg maps to be seriously lacking much usability.

For example, looking for respitory toxicants for Mass (specifically), I jump to a flat map with an incomprehensible cluster of shaded dots. Not to mention that there is no heading or title on the map (granted, it's not that difficult to remember where you came form...but with Edward Tufte as my witness...there should be a title...).

But hey, I didn't download the full, i'll do that now and keep the rest of my complaining to myself...
posted by tpl1212 at 1:09 PM on January 23, 2003

While I can't make heads or tails of the colors of the dots, I can see that there are enough of them in the SF Bay Area to make me want to move.
posted by DakotaPaul at 6:36 PM on January 23, 2003

« Older European Viewpoint   |   come one, shoot all? Newer »

This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments