How Toxic is Your City?


In a slide show by BusinessWeek, America's most toxic cities are placed front and center. Contaminated sites are plagued by calamities-in-the-making such as man-made chemicals seeping into the soil, rupturing underground petroleum-storage tanks, pesticide application, or the direct discharge of industrial wastes into the soil.

Baltimore, Milwaukee, and Portland, Ore., are three of the biggest offenders when it comes to number of contaminated sites per capita, according to Environmental Data Resources (EDR), a provider of environmental risk information services based in Milford, Conn., although it says that this doesn't automatically mean the cities aren't safe. Um, that's reassuring."I'm pretty confident with these numbers, though I prefer to call them 'environmental concern sites,' " says Dan Onofrio, associate vice-president for content and data development at EDR. (The sites are, however, labeled as "contaminated" in BusinessWeek's report.)

BusinessWeek crunched the number of contaminated sites per capita, because the metropolitan areas with the most contaminated sites are, in general, the largest metro areas. Los Angeles pulls into first place based on its sheer number of contaminated sites, with a total of 271,360 on record. New York and Chicago follow, with 191,356 and 103,704, respectively. ::BusinessWeek

See also: ::How Humane is Your City?

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