SEATTLE - The Duwamish River has long been known as a Superfund site, running through the oldest and most heavily industrialized zone in the city. But if you stayed out of the water, would you be just as healthy as somebody who lived in Magnolia or Laurelhurst? The answer, according to a new report, is a resounding no.
The report assembled by the Duwamish River Cleanup Coalition/Technical Advisory Group and Just Health Action finds that air pollution from diesel exhaust, toxic emissions from industry and even noise levels play a role in cutting life expectancy in the neighborhoods of South Park, Georgetown and parts of Beacon Hill.
Report authors studied nine Seattle zip codes and compared rates of disease from childhood asthma, to lung cancer to diabetes.The neighborhoods in question are in zip code 98108.
It's a report that analyses everything from the percentage of tree canopy, and city park space per resident, a wide variety of environmental and economic factors, although the report did not consider personal health habits such as smoking or diet, which can affect lung cancer and heart disease rates, all higher in 98108 versus other zip codes in the city.
South Park and Georgetown especially, mix heavy industry with residential neighborhoods where people live. The authors conclude people who live here are living shortened lives-- eight years shorter than Seattle and King County on average, and 13 years less than neighborhoods like Laurelhurst which is far from the foundries and machine shops that are common in 98108.
For more information: http://duwamishcleanup.org/