ProPublica has mapped the carcinogenic pollution facilities in Houston. Here are 5 of the worst.

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The investigative information site ProPublica this week released a new mapping tool which offers a concrete look at the persistent and daily cancer risks that residents of parts of this region may think they have been facing for a long time. Journalists explain how their work is particularly important because it shows at a granular level what are known as the “cumulative” effects of pollution from all industrial facilities in an area, rather than a single plant in an area. herself.

ProPublica this week released a new mapping tool that offers a concrete look at the persistent and daily cancer risks residents face.

Courtesy of ProPublica

The journalists spent two years analyzing a huge amount of emissions data over a five-year period. ProPublica calls the end product “the most detailed map of carcinogenic industrial air pollution ever published”. It’s not meant to be a definitive indicator for a single cancer case, they explain, but rather a resource for people to better understand the risks of where they live.

Greater Houston, of course, figures prominently. The data comes from the Environmental Protection Agency’s Toxic Release Inventory database, which is based on the self-reporting of certain facilities. The Energy Capital of the World has a number of facilities that emit emissions and are required to submit this information. The pollution may not be seen or felt, but it combines to create a significant risk, the project shows.

ProPublica this week released a new mapping tool that offers a concrete look at the persistent and daily cancer risks residents face.

ProPublica this week released a new mapping tool that offers a concrete look at the persistent and daily cancer risks residents face.

Courtesy of ProPublica

A gradient key on the map indicates where the risk is highest. Neighborhoods along the Houston Ship Channel in eastern Harris County and in Bayport and Baytown are highlighted in red. You can search yourself using the tool here. Data can be examined for the area as a whole, or almost block by block.

The news site identified the following factories as top emitters of carcinogenic chemicals in Houston:

1. Huntsman Petrochemical LLC

  • Pollutants of this installation: ethylene oxide, acrylonitrile, propylene oxide and 2 other carcinogenic substances.
  • “This facility alone is estimated to increase the risk of excessive cancer for people living within an average five-mile radius of 1 in 13,000 ”, indicates the report.

ProPublica this week released a new mapping tool that offers a concrete look at the persistent and daily cancer risks residents face.

ProPublica this week released a new mapping tool that offers a concrete look at the persistent and daily cancer risks residents face.

Courtesy of ProPublica

  • Pollutants from this facility: ethylene oxide, methyl iodide, acetaldehyde and 2 other carcinogens
  • “This facility alone is estimated to increase the risk of excessive cancer for people living within an average five-mile radius of 1 in 13,000 ”, indicates the report.

Entrance signs for Celanese, Arkema and Clariant located at 9502 Bayport Blvd.  air on Thursday, August 29, 2019 in Pasadena.

Entrance signs for Celanese, Arkema and Clariant located at 9502 Bayport Blvd. air on Thursday, August 29, 2019 in Pasadena.

Melissa Phillip, Houston Chronicle / Staff Photographer

3. Equistar Chemicals Bayport Chemical Plant

  • Pollutants in this installation: Ethylene oxide and acetaldehyde
  • “This facility alone is estimated to increase the risk of excessive cancer for people living within an average five-mile radius of 1 in 15,000 “, indicates the report.

Equistar Chemicals Friday May 20, 2016 at La Porte.  (Michael Ciaglo / Houston Chronicle)
Equistar Chemicals Friday May 20, 2016 at La Porte. (Michael Ciaglo / Houston Chronicle)Michael Ciaglo, staff / Houston Chronicle

  • Pollutants of this installation: ethylene oxide, butadiene, 1,3-, benzene and 8 other carcinogens.
  • “This facility alone is estimated to increase the risk of excessive cancer for people living within an average five-mile radius of 1 in 37,000 ”, indicates the report.

Lyondell Basell Houston Refinery, 12000 Lawndale St., is shown on Tuesday August 29, 2017 in Houston.  Several factories have closed due to Hurricane Harvey.  (Melissa Phillip / Houston Chronicle)
Lyondell Basell Houston Refinery, 12000 Lawndale St., is shown on Tuesday August 29, 2017 in Houston. Several factories have closed due to Hurricane Harvey. (Melissa Phillip / Houston Chronicle)Melissa Philippe

More from Emily Foxhall: LyondellBasell Companies Agree to Pay $ 3.4 Million Fine After Federal Government Alleges Illegal Air Pollution

5. Shell Chemical LP

  • Pollutants of this installation: butadiene, 1,3-, benzene, epichlorohydrin and 9 other carcinogens
  • “This facility alone is estimated to increase the risk of excessive cancer for people living within an average five-mile radius of 1 in 79,000 ”, indicates the report.

"This facility alone is estimated to increase the risk of excessive cancer for people living within a five-mile radius by an average of 1 in 79,000," indicates the report.

“This facility alone is estimated to increase the risk of excessive cancer for people living within a five-mile radius by an average of 1 in 79,000,” the report said.

Courtesy of ProPublica

For more information or to see how your community is affected, explore the map here.

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