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Old 03-13-2010, 07:07 AM
 
2,672 posts, read 3,756,919 times
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In this post I made a comparison between Philadelphia county PA and Sullivan county TN. I did that because I could not think of a more industrialized area that has had long standing pollution problems. Many have responded to this post countering the facts from Scorecard.com. One thing that you must keep in mind is that PA has twice the population of TN. Philadelphia county has about 1.45 million people compared to Sullivan county TN at 153,900. Please keep these facts in mind when reading this post.

Secondly, pollution is one factor but the effect of pollution on the population is another. I found this interesting bit of information to share.

http://statecancerprofiles.cancer.go...&2&0&1&6&0#map
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Old 03-13-2010, 09:09 AM
 
Location: Kingsport, TN
1,508 posts, read 3,393,631 times
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This area has very high cancer and heart disease rates primarily due to a high smoking rate, obesity, poor nutrition, and physical inactivity. IOW, most of the risk factors are controllable.

The info below is on estimated health risks from air pollution.



About the above map - Cumulative Cancer Risks: The EPA added the cancer risks from all air toxics compounds listed as carcinogenic or likely carcinogenic to humans. More than 284 million people live in census tracts where the combined upper bound lifetime cancer risk from these compounds exceeded 10 in one million risk and more than 2 million people live in census tracts where the combined upper bound lifetime cancer risk from these compounds exceeded 100 in one million risk. The overall national average risk in the U.S. is 36 in a million.

I dug into the database to find state- and county-specific numbers. Here's the increased cancer risk related to air pollution, per million population:

US: 35.6
TN: 29.5
Sullivan: 37.3
Washington: 32.0
Carter: 23.5
Greene: 22.1
Hawkins: 21.3
Johnson: 15.0



About the above map - Cumulative Noncancer Hazards: Ideally, hazard quotients should be combined for pollutants that cause the same adverse effects by the same toxic mechanism. However, because detailed information on mechanisms was unavailable for most of the substances considered in this assessment, the EPA used a simpler and more conservative method. Many of the pollutants in this assessment cause adverse effects in humans or animals by irritating the lining of the respiratory system. Although it is not clear that these respiratory effects occur by the same mechanisms for all such air toxics compounds, the EPA protectively assumed that these effects could be added. These additive effects were represented by a "hazard index," which is the sum of the hazard quotients of the air toxics compounds that affect the respiratory system. The respiratory hazard index was dominated by a single substance, acrolein. The respiratory hazard index exceeded 1.0 for nearly the entire U.S. population, and exceeded 10 for more than 22 million people.

Iincreased respiratory risk related to air pollution, per million population:

US: 4.4
TN: 3.2
Sullivan: 3.7
Washington: 4.1
Carter: 2.8
Greene: 2.2
Hawkins: 2.0
Johnson: 1.0

Sources: http://www.epa.gov/nata2002/risksum.html and http://www.epa.gov/ttn/atw/nata2002/tables.html

Last edited by kamoshika; 03-13-2010 at 09:50 AM..
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Old 03-14-2010, 07:37 AM
 
2,672 posts, read 3,756,919 times
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Kamoshika,
Even though the info you present is from 2002 it still suggests a higher than normal cancer rates for Sullivan county. The map is rather small and hard to read but the area of NE TN looks to be pretty much the same as SE PA. Considering the difference in industrialization and population your data suggests that Sullivan county is a dangerous place to live.

I believe the air quality of Kingsport speaks, or stinks, or itself. One doesn't need charts and data to know that if the air smells bad it probably is bad. The question is; how bad is it? I have also seen dead fish by the hundreds in the Holston River and several days later noticed several dead animals that depend on the river for food. I am sure these can't be signs of a pristine environment.
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Old 03-14-2010, 10:15 AM
 
Location: Kingsport, TN
1,508 posts, read 3,393,631 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by donsabi View Post
Kamoshika,
Even though the info you present is from 2002 it still suggests a higher than normal cancer rates for Sullivan county. The map is rather small and hard to read but the area of NE TN looks to be pretty much the same as SE PA. Considering the difference in industrialization and population your data suggests that Sullivan county is a dangerous place to live.
Donsabi, here's a larger version of that cancer-risk map:
http://www.epa.gov/nata2002/02pdfs/2...kMonoColor.pdf

The numbers are already adjusted for population (per million). For Sullivan Co., the estimated carcinogenic risk is 5% higher than the national average while the estimated noncancer respiratory risk is actually 16% lower than the national average.

Quote:
I believe the air quality of Kingsport speaks, or stinks, or itself. One doesn't need charts and data to know that if the air smells bad it probably is bad. The question is; how bad is it? I have also seen dead fish by the hundreds in the Holston River and several days later noticed several dead animals that depend on the river for food. I am sure these can't be signs of a pristine environment.
I've never heard anyone claim that Kingsport, or at least the area around Eastman, is "pristine." When you have one of the nation's largest chemical & plastics manufacturers located so close to the heart of the city, you're obviously going to have significant pollution. Eastman has a reputation for being a good and responsible corporate citizen that's always striving to reduce emissions, but they are far from perfect and they do have accidental releases.
Eastman Chemical – Green Rating – Newsweek.com

FWIW, in 2008 Eastman's air emissions were down 19% from 2002, per the latest EPA Toxic Release Inventory report.

As one who's extremely interested in and fairly knowledgeable about both environmental and public health -- the two are intimately connected -- I wouldn't live where I do (just one mile north of the plant) if I were extremely concerned about the air I breathe every day.
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Old 03-14-2010, 11:10 AM
 
Location: Kenai Peninsula, AK
5,482 posts, read 8,897,152 times
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Kam, is there any way you can find the same data for Philadelphia? Obviously, per the map, the most concentrated regions of pollutants, etc. are located in metropolitan areas. As we are a metropolitan area, our little counties on the map are going to be colored in darker, just like SE PA. It's impossible to glean any real information based on colored maps or second hand stories about dead fish. The raw data, though, should tell the tale.

Last edited by jabogitlu; 03-14-2010 at 11:36 AM..
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Old 03-14-2010, 04:46 PM
 
Location: Kingsport, TN
1,508 posts, read 3,393,631 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jabogitlu View Post
Kam, is there any way you can find the same data for Philadelphia?
FWIW, the estimated cancer risk for Philadelphia Co. is 41.6 and the estimated respiratory risk is 7.2.
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Old 03-14-2010, 06:43 PM
 
Location: Kenai Peninsula, AK
5,482 posts, read 8,897,152 times
Reputation: 1918
Thank you. I think that helps illustrate things a little bit.
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