Toxic Release Inventory: TOXMAP

You can use TOXMAP®  to look up some (but not all) kinds of pollution.  It is a Geographic Information System (GIS) from the Division of Specialized Information Services of the US National Library of Medicine®(NLM). It uses maps of the United States and Canada to help users visually explore data primarily from the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)’s Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) and Superfund Program.

This ZIP CODE DRIVEN interactive map shows the toxic sites near you, each capable of causing illnesses, miscarriages, birth defects, and death among residents. There are currently more than 1,300 Superfund sites in the U.S.   Just click here to get started: TOXMAP

Since “toxics” come in many sizes, shapes, and flavors, it is important to use the correct terms.  A wonderful set of definitions can be found here: http://toxmap.nlm.nih.gov/toxmap/glossary.html#Superfund

Once on the site, you can put your mouse over any dot and it will tell you what toxics are present, and why it is on this list. Note: You cannot do that on this “display” page – the map shown here is just an example of what you can create – not an actual interactive map.

To create the interactive map, go to TOXMAP – Toxic Release Inventory

Note:  There are many other tools that produce maps of such things as water pollution, radon pollution, particulate air pollution and so forth, all of which contribute to creating disease.  An expanding collection of these tools is located on this website adjacent to where you found these two tools.  To develop a comprehensive picture of the pollution in your area you will have to access many of them.

If you suspect that pollution may be at the root of a problem, you can go to the menu at the top of this page labeled “Borrow Tools Here” and locate what you need to collect samples.

This is only one of many sources of information to help you locate pollution and examine its impact on your family and friends.  You can see a continuously updated list as a drop down menu here: http://thepollutiondetectives.org/maps-of-known-pollutants

This page contributed by Francis Koster, Ed. D.