If the now-capped oil leak in the Gulf has you looking for the next pollution threat to worry about, This We Know offers a websiteful of worries to keep you busy. Simply tap in your ZIP code and you’ll find out just how many pounds of how many dangerous pollutants were released in your city! (via GOOD)
And if those two sure-to-be-bigger-than-you’d-like numbers just don’t create enough furrows in your brow, all you have to do is click on the word “pollutants” to get a full list of what exact pollutants you’re dealing with — so you can amuse yourself by copying and pasting words like Methanol and Polychlorinated Alkanes into Google and reading about all the gory health risks associated with them.
In Los Angeles, for example, This We Know found 4,448,340 pounds of 112 pollutants were released within 22 miles — yikes! Those pollutants came from 454 factories — and if I click on the word “Factories,” I get an interactive map of the factories in Los Angeles so I can, with a simple click, start obsessing over which ones are closest to me, what chemicals they’re emitting, and what health hazards those chemicals cause!
That said, while This We Know can serve as an addictive source of information for eco-worry warts, the website’s goals are much broader, and most of the information it provides is not so anxiety-inducing. This We Know basically brings together all sorts of public government data into a single website, so just by typing in your ZIP code, you can get all manner of interesting current factoids about your neighborhood — like how many violent crimes went down near you and how many of your neighbors got cancer. OK, I lied — most of the website really is rather anxiety-inducing.
Still, when I tapped in my Santa Monica ZIP code — in addition to the scary pollution, cancer, and crime info, I also did get to find out that my city’s fairly ethnically diverse (I guess I already knew that, but hello to the other 5,985 Asians in Santa Monica!), nomadic (47 percent of people relocated in the past 15 years), and — relatedly — are mostly renters, not homeowners.
What about your neighborhood? Learn anything new about the city where you live at This We Know?
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