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Learn about the environmental vulnerabilities of your community. The Scorecard website profiles the environmental burdens of communities throughout the United States; simply type in your zip code to learn your community’s score on air, water, chemicals, and more. In addition, Google Earth offers the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s air quality information in real time on AIRNow.
Learn your community’s environmental justice score. Poor communities and communities of color tend to bear a disproportionate share of environmental burdens. Scorecard’s environmental justice page helps you identify which communities are experiencing disproportionate toxic chemical releases, cancer risks from hazardous air pollutants, and proximity to Superfund sites and polluting facilities.
To examine the impact of outdoor pollutant emissions on indoor air, Silent Spring Institute researchers evaluated relationships between paired outdoor and indoor measurements for the 33 chemicals measured at higher levels outdoors in the urban setting of Richmond, California.
In the case of sulfates, a frequent byproduct of industrial pollution with few indoor sources, there was a strong correlation between paired outdoor and indoor measurements, and outdoor concentrations were consistently higher than indoor concentrations, indicating that outdoor sulfates were penetrating indoors. Strong correlations between outdoor and indoor concentrations were observed for vanadium, selenium, calcium, iron, and manganese, and outdoor concentrations were higher than indoor concentrations.
Outdoor–indoor levels and correlations for many of the polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, lanthanum, and elemental carbon suggested both outdoor and indoor sources and indicated that outdoor air is an important source of these pollutants indoors.