Superfunds and Inequality

Superfund sites are located in low-income communities

Superfunds without enough funds

Superfunds have terrible impacts on health

  • Cognitive development — Children born within 1 mile of a superfund site are 10 percentage points more likely to be diagnosed with a cognitive disability. When families move away from superfund sites, the siblings in these families do not experience these challenges.
  • Life expectancy — Worst yet, living next to a superfund site decreases life expectancy by 15 months on average.
  • Pregnancy — Women living less than a quarter of a mile away from a Superfund site during the first three months of their pregnancies have been found to be 2–4-times more likely to give birth to a child with a heart or neural tube defect.
  • Lead — Residents of the West Calumet Public Housing Complex in East Chicago felt the pains of living next to a superfund site. After many residents had lived in the housing complex for decades, the EPA told them they had to relocate after lead and arsenic were found in the soil, which had been seeping from the Anaconda Lead Products facility. The EPA took soil samples in 2014 and 2015 and found that lead and arsenic levels were as high as 91,100 ppm (parts per million), or 200-times higher than the level required for immediate action. 90% of the residents in Calumet are either Black or Latinx.
Akeeshea Daniels talks about lead levels in her home during a public listening session hosted by the EPA in 2019 — Source: Chicago Tribune

NJ, CA, and PA have the most Superfund sites in America.

The gunk in the Gowanus Canal, Brooklyn is often referred to as “black mayonnaise.” Source — Curbed

The Path Forward

While living near a superfund site, Melissa Nootz found out her daughter Esme (left) was born with lead in her blood — Source: Montana Standard




Google, MIT, Harvard, UPenn, Federal Reserve, now writing about inequality at

Love podcasts or audiobooks? Learn on the go with our new app.

Recommended from Medium

Divide and Conquer

Aluminum- An ultimate option of beverage packing

Call To Action: Sustainable Development Goals

Six Pandemic Lessons That Hold Good For 2021

#TeamSeas: A Viral Ocean Cleanup Campaign

What happens if you hit a cat with your car?

Tuesday, November 17, 2020

A3: Organizational Change

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store
Jeremy Ney

Jeremy Ney

Google, MIT, Harvard, UPenn, Federal Reserve, now writing about inequality at

More from Medium

Experiences as a White, Non-Jew with Curly Hair.

Women: The vital link in the battle for our planet-By Nazli Dakad

Norwegian S’mores

The Pointless Adventure