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general poll on environmental pollution
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general poll on environmental pollution

I have been wondering how many of us here grew up in or currently live in  what might be considered environmentally polluted areas.  The USA Today website has results of their study on air pollution in and around schools.  If you go to their website and click on "Smokestack  Effect" you can type in your town and zip code, and then see where your town ranks in toxic air emissions.  The closer your town's number is to 100, the cleaner the air is.  

How many of us live in a town where the score is less than 50?  I have been disheartened to see so many communities with emissions of neurotoxins and developmental toxins.  Not to mention the carcinogens.  Anyway, if you are curious, could you please let me know where your town numbers fall?

Thanks!!!
Elaine
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24 Comments Post a Comment
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222135_tn?1236491821
Mine's a 9! Pittsburgh still has a lot of steel mills around, tohugh not nearly as many as when I was growing up.

Penn
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Yikes penn!!!!  The chemical plants in my area of Northern Delaware give me a 47.  I have heard from people who grew up here that the air was so dirty in the 1970's that you couldn't see the sun in the summer.  But the state is trying hard to clean up the air.  But we still have a very high cancer rate.

Elaine
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Mine's a 38. Bad for cancer, bad for other toxic chemicals.
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19
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333672_tn?1273796389
Oops! That was where I grew up. Where I live now is a much-improved 24.
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405614_tn?1329147714
By my apartment is a 2.  I used to do a lot of walking around there, until my health got worse and I read about the levels of benzene in the air.

By my friends townhouse where I've pretty much been staying since the pesticide incident is between a 38 and 42.

Oh, my.
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147426_tn?1317269232
Oh my, I currently live in a place I would have said was very clean, but it is a 47.

I grew up in a 64.
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222135_tn?1236491821
A friend of mine whose mother was Dx w/ MS in her 50's did a lot of research on our area and its air. She said that Allegheny County, where Pgh is, has one of the highest incidence of MS...coincidence? Hmmmmmmmm

Penn
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I grew up in a 73 but moved to a 56 on my 16th Birthday. I guess I should feel lucky, at least my parents didn't pick Pittsburgh a 9 (that's where my Dad grew up) instead they chose where Mom grew up and that's the 56.

  Hey, do you think I would still be good if we had stayed in Virginia at the 73?

  Erin :)
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147426_tn?1317269232
The evidence for a clear toxin role in MS is very slim, in fact, I haven't seen any.  But, I think with all the immune dysfunction that we are seeing that toxins have to be playing a part.

Quix
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338416_tn?1260996698
I haven't seen anything consistently point to toxins, but there are cluster studies that point to higher incidences of MS in places like Amarillo, Texas.

I've always wondered about the rates of MS in Bridge City, Texas, which is where I grew up.  I knew that there were a lot of disorders in that area, like cystic fibrosis and cerebral palsy, but I haven't seen any real numbers.

I'm not sure where you're getting these double digit numbers.  Maybe I'm looking at this wrong!  Bridge City Middle School is in the 6th percentile - 7,096 of 127,800 schools have worse air than Bridge City.   Not quite the worst, but very, very close.

Butadiene is 24% of overall toxicity, with chromium at 15% and nickel at 15%.  Butyl acrylate is 6%, and aniline is 5%.  If I remember my chemicals, the butyl acrylate is in the water table, so I probably drank a lot of that as a child.  Most of these chemicals cause cancer, except for butyl acrylate.
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Avatar_m_tn
Thanks for all of your input.  I think there has to be some connection to toxic exposure and  the immune system breaking down and causing disease.  

But it will probably be a long time till the medical community officially recognizes it.  
Can you imagine the uproar in the industrial sector of our society if they had to clean up their emissions?!

Elaine
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222135_tn?1236491821
I'll have to ask my friend where she found all her info, as it did make connections between the prevelance of the mills and chemical plants with immune system related conditions, MS in particular. It is truly astounding how many people in the small suburb where I grew up and still live, and surrounding towns, who have MS...amazing. I have to admit it's interesting stuff. I did find several articles which state there may be "environmental factors" impacting high incidence areas, but do not go into detail of what those factors are. Might be worth looking into further someday when I'm bored... ok so that never happens, lol
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Avatar_m_tn
Well I've looked up a lot of the places I have lived over the years (have lived in or visited all but Alaska, plus a few other countries). Most of the came in around 8, well at least currently they do. Not sure if they were that bad when I lived in the areas. Currently my location is 39 and have noticed that I do feel better overall since moving here from an 8 level area.

Dennis
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649926_tn?1297661380

  I like this post so much that I did all of the areas within 2 hours of here. Mostly where my children and family members live.
  I am shocked to find out that while I am at a 56 my daughter lives 45 minutes north of here and is a 47, my son lives in Buffalo NY 2 hours north and is at a 14 and some other family 30 minutes south in PA are at a 14.
  Wow!! I want my son to transfer Colleges and get out of that 14 zone. I know that's totally unrealistic but this little poll could get you going.
  Oh yeah maybe my Dad's remaining family should move from Pittsburgh to NY a 56 sure is better than the 9.

  Well thanks for the brain exercise it was better than doing chores and a whole lot more interesting :)

Erin
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I was talking with a woman while waiting for my neuro-ophthalmology appt. the other day who was a "Hanford baby", meaning she grew up near the Hanford nuclear plant when it was opperating at it's most lethal.

She said she had too many health issues to even discuss, but she was so sensitive to medications that she could only take one, even with all her problems.

I wonder what that area would have rated back then?
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Avatar_m_tn
That poor woman.  I can't even imagine living near a leaky nuclear power plant.  There are three nuclear reactors on an artificial island across the Delaware river in NJ.  Many of the employees at the plant and their spouses have thyroid cancer.  

I have loved this post.  It looks like most of us are in areas that are less than 50...not good.  I guess I should spend more time at the beach.  The beach area where I go is a very healthy 71.  Nice excuse to go there!!!

I hope the public health experts can start to prove a relationship between toxins and immune disorders.

Penn...I would love to hear about your friend's data if you can get it.

Thanks everyone!!
Elaine
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I had to go check my hometown; my elementary and high schools rated 65 and 66.

Small towns can be nice!  I found it interesting that the schools out in the countryside rated worse; must be the pesticides from farming or something like that.

I've found this fascinating.  I started reading about Hanford and had to quit; that old gunk is too close to home, and I don't think they'll ever get it all cleaned up.

I'm interested in your friends data, too, Penn.  Thanks in advance for asking your friend about it, and sharing it with us.

Kathy
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Avatar_f_tn
Hi Elaine,

I have often wondered about the toxins we breath and what the results, other than cancer, were caused.

I grew up near a Monsanto plant and have read in articles over the years that the community where I grew up is one of the worse city's known for toxins.  I think it actually ranked #1 for years.  

We also had Ft McClellan until a few years ago, which is where chemical training was done.  Also Anniston Army Depot.

I checked USA today and the nearest school to where I grew up and lived until 1999, was still ranked #1 percentile with on 527 schools shown to be worse.  Great, huh?

Thanks Elaine for this post.  I'm glad I'm not the only one who wonders about these things.

doni
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Thanks doni.  The data from the town where you grew up is very scary.  I really do think there is a connection.  In fact, every single neurologist that Craig went to asked him what chemicals he worked with.  As soon as they saw he was a chemical engineer, that was the first question they asked.

Of course, when we asked if it was important or relevant to his neurological problems, they just said no, they were just curious.  Too curious in my opinion.  I think they know something but just won't say anything official.

Have a good day!
Elaine
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Unfortunately my area ranks pretty high in percentile rank for this survey, which is no suprise.  We have tons of ground waste here in the midwest, thanks to the manufacturing practices of the 1960-1990 eras.  We have super fund sites here and lots more.  Thanks for the link Elaine, it is always sobering to see this information in print.

my best,
Lulu
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Avatar_f_tn
Interesting information.  I actually grew up in a fairly good area air pollution wise.  Now I live in a 42% area.  I have never really felt good since we've lived here and maybe this is part of the reason.
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  I think I'm doing the best so far with a rating of 92%
But when I was working as an auto body repair man and painter, both dust and fumes so thick at times that you could not even see the far end of my work stall  and I would rate that as -110% and being overexposed to them sent me out of work

  Cowboy
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338416_tn?1260996698
Yup, it's hard to factor in environmental concerns, when the workplace also exposes us to so many toxins.  

My first job after college involved using a lot of benzene for cleaning - this was after it was ruled a harmful chemical and not safe for humans.  But the idiots I worked for used it every day, without gloves!  Benzene has been correlated with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, but it's hard to say whether there's a real link.
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