It is an area in Louisiana along the Misssissippi River that many companies have established factories and plants. The Mississippi River allows them to transport products and materials easily. Also, the government offers tax breaks to these companies.
Locals, however, call this area Cancer Alley because of the pollution the companies produce. Cases of rare types of cancer have been reported numerous times in the area.
Cancer Alley is an 85-mile region from Baton Rouge to New Orleans, Louisiana with very high cancer rates. The area was originally referred to as the “petrochemical corridor”, but the name was changed with the growing cancer rates.
In 2002, Louisiana had the second highest cancer rate in the nation. It was also second for total onsite releases. Cancer Alley has high rates of industrial accidents and chemical releases, primarily from the Condea Vista company.
Cancer Alley is, demographically, primarily African-American and lower income. Unemployment is high in the area, and most residents lack a college education. However, even with the economic disadvantage, residents are actively organizing to fight the industrial companies releasing waste into the region.
“Cancer Alley” is the ominous name used to describe a community in St. Gabriel, Louisiana. It stretches about 85 miles along the Mississippi River, extending from Baton Rouge to New Orleans. The area was given this name due to its exceedinly high rates of reported cancer cases. A major factor contributing to its statistics are the 7 refineries and over 175 heavy industrial plants. There is a helpful powerpoint about this topic found at bss.sfsu.edu/raquelrp/projects/515_ej/Cancer_Alley_LA_2.ppt
In 1987 in St. Gabriel, LA, which is the town Kellsbells mentions, there were fifteen cancer victims within a two block radius. In 2000, 9,416,598,055 pounds of toxic waste was produced in Louisiana. Seven of the ten highest polluting plants in the state were located in Cancer Alley.
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