Cancer Alley

Cancer Alley is the regional nickname given to an 85-mile stretch of land along the Mississippi River between Baton Rouge and New Orleans, in the River Parishes of Louisiana, which contains over 150 petrochemical plants and refineries. This area accounts for 25% of the petrochemical production in the United States. The region is considered a sacrifice zone. In Cancer Alley, forty-six individuals per one million are at risk of developing cancer, compared with the national average of roughly thirty individuals per one million. The abnormally high cancer risk and concentration of petrochemical operations inspired the "Cancer Alley" moniker. Additionally, researchers have found that racial disparity in cancer risk from air pollution worsen as minority concentration increases across the region. Individuals in black-dominant areas are 16% more at risk than those in white-dominant areas, and people in low-income tracts also bear a cumulative risk 12% more than those in high-income tracts.

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In ‘Cancer Alley,’ Judge Blocks Huge Petrochemical Plant