Toxic Air Pollution in Louisiana


Toxic Air Pollution in Louisiana



Faculty Mentor

Mark Sciuchetti, Department of Chemistry and Geosciences


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11:15-11:25am | Houston Cole Library, 11th Floor


Louisiana has been suffering from toxic air pollution in industrialized cities for decades. The areas in Louisiana affected heavily by industrial pollution range from north to south Louisiana. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, some regions in “Cancer Alley” show higher risks of various types of cancer. The chemicals released in the air and ground can lead to colon, lung, and bladder cancer. The air quality is expected to decrease with the chemical industry growing rapidly in this area. The national spread of toxic chemicals in the air has been declining since the 80s, but results in Louisiana are not as significant as in other high-polluting states. Increased air toxicity levels with cancer-causing chemicals predominantly affect marginalized communities within the state. Louisiana is the seventh in the nation with the highest cancer rates, while some large industrial companies still refuse to admit the direct link between pollution and cancer. While smoking and obesity are significant cancer contributors, they do not entirely explain the geographical patterns of high health risks throughout this state. Using maps that show race, poverty, and pollution levels can accurately represent the effect air pollution has on the state. The Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality has been informed and advised by scientists to reevaluate their measurements on air pollution exposure. Yet, they insist that industrial pollution is not a significant cause of cancer in Louisiana. These parishes will continue to endure the burden of toxic air pollution without environmental justice.


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Earth Sciences

Toxic Air Pollution in Louisiana