Phase One of the Cancer and Air Pollution Death Study Results
Below is a table showing EEQL’s cancer study phase one results. Data was derived from 19 years of vital statistics provided by the Minnesota Department of Health. BNA compares four census tracts surrounding the Lowry Bridge on both sides of the river to data from a same sized control area in Mound, Minnesota.
(Click here to see larger image)
Results show a rate of air pollution cancer-related deaths in the Lowry Area census tracts at more than 300% higher than the rate of air pollution cancer-related deaths in Mound. Death rates from Asthma are 844% higher than in Mound. Results also show Lowry Area cancer deaths at a 19% higher rate than the U.S. as a whole.
The next phase of this cancer study will be to interview residents (and former residents) in the four Lowry census tracts to determine the extent of cancer illnesses among the living. To volunteer for phase two of this study (mailing out the cancer survey, follow-up resident phoning, Facebook and social media outreach, neighborhood canvassing) please contact Bottineau Neighborhood Association at 612-367-7262 and leave a message, or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also contact BNA with questions about the study or for references.
The team responsible for this report consists of the following individuals: Tonye Slyvanus, the study’s research coordinator, is a Master of Public Health candidate at the University of Minnesota and a practicing MD from Nigeria. Stephanie Yuen is a BNA and EEQL volunteer from Sheridan neighborhood who has a Master of Public Health degree focused on biostatistics and epidemiology from Oregon Science and Health University. We are thankful for their help, insights, professionalism and dedication to improving neighborhood health.
Storm Water in Bottineau
by Liz Reiser
Water is the new buzzword in Minnesota, especially since Gov. Dayton has made clean water one of his top priorities. In our neighborhood, stormwater run-off is a major concern.
In Bottineau, storm sewers flow directly into the Mississippi River, untreated. Hence, our neighborhood pollutants flow into the river as well, affecting the overall water quality of the river. Below are some easy steps we can take to reduce stormwater pollution:
*Pick up dog waste – Dog waste is an environmental pollutant that, in 1991, the EPA placed in the same category as oil and toxic chemicals. Bacteria and parasites thrive in dog waste until it enters the water supply. One study showed that as much as 90% of the fecal coliform in urban stormwater was of non-human origin, mostly dog. Yet, according to USA Today, 40% of dog owners do not pick up after their dogs.
*Reduce our use of pesticides and fertilizer – Pesticides are poison and fertilizer is full of nitrogen that, when it reaches our waterways via runoff, encourages the growth of algae which depletes the oxygen in water, severely impacting fish and other aquatic species. A better alternative to fertilizer is mulched grass clippings, but don’t leave clippings in the street or sidewalk to wash into storm sewers—grass is also full of nitrogen. In addition, mowing your lawn to a height of 2-3 inches helps grass retain water, grow deeper roots and out-compete weeds, thus reducing the need for herbicides. If your soil or selected plants need additional nutrients, use organic or slow-release fertilizers. These are less likely to wash off your lawn as compared to inorganic or fast-release fertilizers.
*Plant native plants - The National Wildlife Federation estimates that it costs approximately $700 to care for an acre of lawn. A native wildflower garden of the same size has a comparable cost of $30. Native plants are better suited to our climate and, once established, will require less watering or fertilization to flourish. If you must fertilize, use organic waste from your compost bin or leaf litter.
*Install a rain barrel – A rain barrel is a rainwater collection system that allows homeowners to capture rainwater runoff from their roofs (via downspouts) and store it for later purposes like irrigation or washing a car. Water should be used on a weekly basis to prevent stagnation and odors. In addition to consistent emptying, a screen on the top will prevent your rain barrel from becoming a mosquito hatchery. Also, the barrel should be disconnected and emptied during winter months to prevent freezing and cracking.
*Install a rain garden - By building a rain garden, you can divert your gutter water into an attractive planting bed that works like a sponge and natural filter to clean the water and let it percolate slowly into the surrounding soil.
*Adopt a storm drain – Help keep storm drains clear (see picture at the beginning of this article). To learn more about adopting a storm drain in Minneapolis, visit the following site: http://www.minneapolismn.gov/publicworks/stormwater/stenciling
Development of the Former Mulberry Junction Community Garden Site
After two months of consideration, City officials decided to clear the way for the demolition of the silos at 2301 California St NE. The silos had been on a preservation watch list but were deemed of insufficient historical value to prevent demolition. Now the development of the 1.24 acre site owned by Rome Companies LLC can move forward. The owners hope to break ground during the current construction season. It is likely that a site plan for 7-1/2 lots will be submitted to the City for review in July.
Friday, July 29
5:30 PM to Sunset
West Bank of the River
The Minneapolis Riverfront Partnership, with the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board and the East Minneapolis Exchange Club, are hosting the fourth annual Riverfront Fest on the west bank of the Mississippi River between Plymouth Ave and Broadway in Minneapolis. The event features food trucks, bands, kid‘s activities, pontoon and voyager canoe rides and more. Food and drinks are available for sale but otherwise the event is free for all. For more information, please visit www.minneapolisriverfront.org
Share the River Nordeast
Wednesday, July 13
MWMO (2522 Marshall Street NE)
Join the folks at MWMO for an evening of community, canoeing and ice cream! Stop by anytime between 5 p.m. and 8 p.m. for a free introductory canoe ride on the Mississippi River, then grab some free ice cream and check out the other exhibits at their Stormwater Park and Learning Center.
This family-friendly event is great for kids and adults of all ages (though you must be at least 30 lbs. in order to fit the provided life jackets). In addition to learning to paddle on the river, participants will also have opportunities to learn about the Mississippi River’s history, water quality, plants, animals and more.
National Park Service rangers from the Mississippi National River and Recreation Area will be joined by MWMO and Mississippi Park Connection staff and guides from Wilderness Inquiry offering free canoe rides on the Mississippi River in exchange for your thoughts and ideas for river programming in the North and Northeast Minneapolis area.