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Everything you need to know about the cancer cluster in Houston’s Fifth Ward | Houston Chronicle

State authorities have identified a part of Houston’s Fifth Ward as a cancer cluster, a designation found where creosote was used since 1997 by Union Pacific. Creosote is a chemical used to treat wood railroad ties, which were treated by Houston Wood Preserving Works in the nearby Englewood Rail Yard. The chemical has since seeped into the ground and contaminated the groundwater, authorities discovered. Since the discovery, several figures – including Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee and advocate Erin Brockovich – have come to bat for the community. Jay R. Jordan, Houston Chronicle Featured Image, Brett Coomer, MBO / Associated Press […]

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The blackest city in the US is facing an environmental justice nightmare | The Guardian

Detroit’s most vulnerable residents face inequalities like toxic air, lead poisoning, and water shutoffs. Now they’re fighting back. Growing up in southwest Detroit, Vince Martin thought it was normal for the sky to be orange. When he was three years old, his family moved from Cuba to one of the black areas of town. At the time, discriminatory housing practices segregated the city. His Afro-Cuban family settled in the 48217 district, now Michigan’s most polluted zip code, where 71% of the population is black and air pollution makes the sky look like it’s on fire. Specifically, the Martins moved to […]

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Environmental racism is bad for your brain | Think Progress

Jeremy Deaton, Think Progress A snapshot of mid-century South Philly. Featured Image are a lot of explanations for the apparent gap in IQ test scores of white Americans and Americans of color. Some experts point to things like bias in the exam itself, or the fact that white students tend to go to better-funded schools. Others tout racist myths. Take biologist James Watson, who wrongly claimed the black-white IQ gap is genetic, or writer Jason Richwine, whose doctoral dissertation asserted that “the low average IQ of Hispanics is effectively permanent” — Harvard gave him a PhD for that discredited gem. […]

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