Did you know that North Brooklyn’s industrial legacy left behind an alphabet soup of toxins – TCE, PCBs, phthalates, benzene, and many other chemicals – that’s lingering beneath the surface in many sections of our hood?
To help inform the rest of us, Neighbors Allied For Good Growth (NAG) and Pratt Institute’s Spatial Analysis and Visualization Initiative teamed up to construct a map using publicly available data visualizing where the contaminants lurk.
For a sneak peek:
Low levels of exposure to some of these chemicals can trigger negative health effects, making this an important topic to study up on if you’re planning to settle down in the area, especially if you have children, as they are most susceptible to contact.
As a “toxic community,” we’re not alone: Tens of millions of people in the U.S. live within three miles of a Superfund Site, the most polluted of all land classifications.
In North Brooklyn, everyone lives within close proximity to multiple Superfunds, but thanks in part to an informed public, many Superfund and brownfield sites undergo remediation for both commercial and residential development.
Remediated development is not without its hazards, however. If you want an example, look no further than Google’s Mountain View campus, a remediated Superfund Site where employees breathed cancer-causing vapors inside the office for two months before anyone noticed.
The bright side of all of this is that New York City’s drinking water is supplied from pristine Upstate watersheds, unlike our friends in the parched city of Los Angeles, who increasingly rely upon contaminated groundwater for hydration.
Breathe easy, North Brooklyn.