Chicago Public Schools students in predominantly Latino communities are being disproportionately impacted by pollution emitted from industrial sites across the city.
Researchers at the University of Illinois Chicago created a new interactive map highlighting those 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 zones that are sources of pollution,” Michael Cailas, associate professor of environmental and occupational sciences at the University of Illinois of Chicago, said. “We are providing this tool to Chicago communities so they can see the cumulative burden in their communities.”
José Acosta Córdova, environmental planning and research organizer for the Little Village Environmental Justice Organization, said South and West side schools in Chicago near industrial sites are most impacted by pollution.
“The biggest concern is just the proximity of these toxic facilities next to schools just highlights high levels of pollution,” Córdova said. “Schools are next to residential areas and parks, where people congregate. It’s not safe for [students] to be exposed to pollution.”
Cordova joined Cailas on “Chicago Tonight” to speak on UIC’s interactive map and the environmental impact pollution has on communities of color.