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Sacrifice Zones

Mapping Cancer-Causing Industrial Air Pollution

Polluters are turning neighborhoods into “sacrifice zones” where residents breathe in carcinogens. The EPA allows it. We mapped the hot spots.

Impact of Our Reporting

Sacrifice Zones

EPA Finalizes New Standards for Cancer-Causing Chemicals

The regulation specifically targets ethylene oxide, which a ProPublica analysis found was the single biggest contributor to excess industrial cancer risk from air pollutants nationwide.

Sacrifice Zones

New EPA Rule to Slash Cancer-Causing Emissions From Sterilization Facilities

The new rule comes after a 2021 investigation by ProPublica and The Texas Tribune revealed the EPA’s yearslong failure to inform communities of the risks they faced from cancer-causing ethylene oxide emissions.

Sacrifice Zones

City Receives Half a Million Dollars for Air Monitoring After Report Reveals Elevated Cancer Risk

After years of resident complaints of toxic fumes and health issues, the EPA has funded Mississippi to conduct air monitoring in Pascagoula. This comes a year after a first-of-its-kind analysis by ProPublica into “sacrifice zones” across the country.

Sacrifice Zones

Missouri Town to Get Air Pollution Monitors Following ProPublica Report

The EPA will start monitoring the air in Verona, Missouri, where a manufacturing plant named BCP Ingredients emits ethylene oxide, a potent carcinogen.

Sacrifice Zones

State Launches Cancer Study After ProPublica Identifies Toxic Air Pollution Hot Spot

After learning from a ProPublica analysis that his Missouri city had a high estimated cancer risk from toxic air, Verona Mayor Joseph Heck demanded that the state investigate. Health officials confirmed his worst fears and want to learn more.

Black Snow

Representatives Introduce $500 Million Air Quality Bill, Citing ProPublica’s Investigations

Lawmakers introduced a House bill to fund air monitoring after ProPublica highlighted pollution in its “Black Snow” and “Sacrifice Zones” investigations. The bill is nearly identical to one introduced in the Senate last summer.

Sacrifice Zones

Rechaza la EPA la norma de Texas que es más indulgente para un contaminante atmosférico muy tóxico

A raíz de una investigación realizada por ProPublica y The Texas Tribune sobre el óxido de etileno, la EPA ha emprendido medidas para rechazar una norma menos protectora creada por los reguladores de Texas y respaldada por la industria química.

Sacrifice Zones

EPA Rejects Texas’ More Lenient Standard for Highly Toxic Air Pollutant

In the wake of an investigation by ProPublica and The Texas Tribune, the EPA has moved to reject a less protective standard for ethylene oxide crafted by Texas regulators and backed by the chemical industry.

Sacrifice Zones

EPA Takes Action to Combat Industrial Air Pollution

The EPA announced a raft of targeted actions and specific reforms in the wake of ProPublica’s investigation into toxic hot spots.

Sacrifice Zones

What’s Polluting the Air? Not Even the EPA Can Say.

Despite the high stakes for public health, the EPA relies on emissions data it knows to be inaccurate. To expose toxic hot spots, we first had to get the facts straight.

Sacrifice Zones

EPA Leader Visited Toxic Hot Spots We Featured and Promised Reforms

ProPublica found more than 1,000 hot spots of toxic air pollution across the country, and determined Black residents were disproportionately at risk. Environmental experts called the EPA’s response to our investigation historic and a “radical change in tone.”

The EPA Has Done Nearly Everything It Can to Clean Up This Town. It Hasn’t Worked.

A Black Community in West Virginia Sues the EPA to Spur Action on Toxic Air Pollution

Visualizing Toxic Air

The Polluter Just Got a Million-Dollar Fine. That Won’t Cure This Woman’s Rare Cancer.

Air Monitors Alone Won’t Save Communities From Toxic Industrial Air Pollution

We’re Releasing the Data Behind Our Toxic Air Analysis

Planta de esterilización de equipo médico contamina con sustancias cancerígenas a decenas de miles de alumnos

A Plant That Sterilizes Medical Equipment Spews Cancer-Causing Pollution on Tens of Thousands of Schoolchildren

How Black Communities Become “Sacrifice Zones” for Industrial Air Pollution

The Dirty Secret of America’s Clean Dishes

When Home Is a Toxic Hot Spot

Veneno en el aire

They Knew Industrial Pollution Was Ruining the Neighborhood’s Air. If Only Regulators Had Listened.

El mapa más detallado de contaminación atmosférica industrial que causa cáncer en los EE. UU.

¿Puede la contaminación del aire causar cáncer? Lo que usted tiene que saber sobre los riesgos.

How You Can Report on the Toxic Hot Spots Near You

Do You Live Near an Industrial Facility? Help Us Investigate.

Can Air Pollution Cause Cancer? What You Need to Know About the Risks.

How We Created the Most Detailed Map Ever of Cancer-Causing Industrial Air Pollution