North Brooklyn Neighbors will conduct an air quality study during the spring-summer 2023 season, but they’re asking for help from neighbors.
“In the spring we will be offering workshops on improving indoor air quality that will be open to all, stay tuned for details,” they wrote in a recent email. “We will also be working with select North Brooklynites to monitor their indoor air quality. The first cohort of people eligible for indoor air testing and a $500 stipend will be focused on residents of Cooper Park Houses.”
NBN recently completed a long-term air quality study that investigated five different North Brooklyn sites — Scheel Corporation; McGuinness Boulevard; United Transit Mix; the South 4th Street entrance ramp to the Brooklyn Queens Expressway; and the Satmar Matzah Bakery. The group called the findings of the study, which demonstrated the presence of several harmful contaminants in all samples, “concerning but not conclusive.”
Now, the group is focusing on inside conditions, and there may be no more urgent place to start with than Cooper Park Houses, a public housing facility located between Superfund sites, the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway, and energy company National Grid’s Newtown Creek facility. The housing facility’s location in such an industrial corridor has greatly contributed to deleterious health effects.
“Residents are exposed to more diesel pollution than 98% of the American population,” wrote Adam Mahoney for Capital B News. “Roughly 30% of residents in the census tract where the Cooper Park Houses are located report having ‘poor health,’ double the ZIP code’s average. The city Health Department says residents in the census tract are diagnosed with lung cancer at a rate that is twice what is expected.”
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