Chicago public school students in predominantly Latino communities are disproportionately impacted by pollution emitted from the city’s industrial sites.
Researchers at the University of Illinois at Chicago have created a new interactive map highlighting sources of pollution near schools and homes, along with a three-part study.
“With this interactive map, people can locate pollution in schools that are close to industrial areas that are sources of pollution,” Michael Cailas, associate professor of environmental and labor sciences at the University of Illinois at Chicago, noted. “We’re providing this tool to Chicago communities so they can see the cumulative burden in their communities.”
José Acosta Córdova, organizer of environmental planning and research for the Small Village Environmental Justice Organizationsaid schools on the south and west sides of Chicago near industrial sites are the most affected by the pollution.
“The biggest concern is simply the proximity of these toxic facilities next to schools which only highlights high levels of pollution,” Córdova said. “Schools are next to residential areas and parks, where people gather. It’s not safe for [students] be exposed to pollution.
Cordova joined Cailas on “Chicago Tonight” to talk about the UIC Interactive Map and the environmental impact of pollution on communities of color.