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Mapping Five Types of Environmental Risks Across Los Angeles

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Just how bad is air pollution in your neighborhood? There's a new way to find out. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency released a multi-functional interactive map that allows anyone to look up that information, compare neighborhoods to each other, and even see where certain overlaps between environmental risks (from air pollution or lead paint or increased exposure to traffic) and vulnerable populations (people with lower levels of education or income, for example) could present environmental justice issues. The LA Times says that in the EPA's analysis of the information, they found many California communities, in particular those in southeast LA County and the Inland Empire, to be "among the most at-risk in the nation" when compared to the rest of the country.

Though this map is larger in scope, a similar, smaller map put out by California's Environmental Protection Agency last April is already in use in-state as a guide to where funding should be spent on pollution-mitigating programs. The national map is considered to have fewer "nuances" than the one focusing on California alone. It's also currently missing some vitally important information about health effects of pollution, like charting the risk of cancer from breathing toxic air. Those elements are on the map but unable to be selected and viewed now; the EPA says that data isn't available yet, but that it will be added to the map when it is.

Some sample shots of the same, generally central portion of LA and a handful of environmental risks:

· EPA 'environmental justice' map highlights California's pollution ills [LAT]
· New Maps Show Exactly How Polluted Every LA 'Hood Is [Curbed LA]