Washington ranks fourth on a new list of the most at-risk areas for when it comes to cancer causing air pollution. The EPA say 105,454 people in our state are living in at-areas with toxic air.
The Environmental Protection Agency looked at nearly 200 pollutants floating around in the air. 80 of the substances on this list are known to cause cancer. The state with the largest number of people living in such areas is New York followed by California, Oregon and Washington.
Here's a look at the state's with the highest population at-risk:
N.Y. 862,012 Calif. 445,781 Ore. 140,169 Wash. 105,454 Ala. 76,452 Pa. 73,046 Ind. 57,498
Puerto Rico 54,161 Ill. 44,785
Bottom line - the EPA considers Washington's risk-level unacceptable. Right now when you look at the national average, 36 out of every 1 million people are at greater risk because of these toxins. That's a decline from the 41.5 in 1 million cancer risk the EPA found when it released the last analysis in 2006. That data covered 1999 emissions.
Here in our state though, that number can be between 50 and 144 for every one million. Not encouraging news at all, but the numbers are better than they were the last time the EPA looked at this data back in 2006.
Parts of Los Angeles, Calif., and Madison County, Ill., had the highest cancer risks in the nation - 1200 in 1 million and 1100 in 1 million, according to the EPA data. They were followed by two neighborhoods in Allegheny County, Pa., and one in Tuscaloosa County, Ala. People living in parts of Coconino County, Ariz., and Lyon County, Nev., had the lowest cancer risk from air toxics. The counties with the least toxic air are Kalawao County, Hawaii, and Golden Valley County, Mont.
The analysis predicts the concentrations of 124 different hazardous air pollutants, which are known to cause cancer, respiratory problems and other health effects by coupling estimates of emissions from a variety of sources with models that attempt to simulate how the pollution will disperse in the air. Only 80 of the chemicals evaluated are known to cause cancer, EPA officials said.
The information is used by federal, state and local agencies to identify areas in need of more monitoring and attention. The EPA study is based on 2002 emission levels. Those are the most current numbers available right now.
The EPA has released a list of schools with bad air quality. Of more than 2,700 different schools in our state, a few faired the best. Lake Chelan Preschool and Glacier Valley High in Chelan were in the 99th percentile, which means only one percent of schools nationwide have better air quality. Crescent School in Port Angeles was in the 97th percentile.
On the flip side several schools in Monroe and Tacoma were in the one-percentile for having some of the worst air quality, according to the EPA: Park Place Middle School, Sky Valley Sda, and Monroe Middle School, all in Monroe. Also the Christian Brotherhood Academy and the Holy Rosary School in Tacoma.
To check where you child's school ranks, click on the link to the EPA website for school air ratings.Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times