Chemical companies have long been accused of prioritizing profits over people, and the latest case out of Louisiana is no exception. In a shocking turn of events, a chemical company has been sued for allegedly exposing Black residents to cancer risks. The lawsuit highlights the ongoing environmental racism that plagues low-income communities and raises important questions about corporate accountability in protecting vulnerable populations.
The allegations against the company are that they knowingly and intentionally exposed Black residents to a cancer-causing chemical, and that they did so with the intent to cause harm. The company is also accused of negligence, failure to warn, and public nuisance.
When it comes to environmental racism, Louisiana is no stranger. In fact, the state has been dubbed the “toxic shock capital of the United States.” This is due in large part to the high concentration of petrochemical plants and other industrial facilities in the state – many of which are located in predominantly Black neighborhoods.
Now, one of these companies is being sued for allegedly putting Black residents at risk of cancer. The suit was filed by the Louisiana Bucket Brigade, an environmental justice group, on behalf of two Black residents of St. James Parish who live near the Formosa Plastics Corporation vinyl chloride plant.
Synthetic rubber is produced by Denka Performance Elastomer LLC in Reserve, Louisiana. In this lawsuit, it is alleged that the processes associated with the creation of this commodity emit high levels of the carcinogen chloroprene as well as other harmful chemicals that pose a significant risk of cancer development. As a result, the residents have suffered “significant health impacts,” including cancer.
This is just one example of how environmental racism disproportionately affects Black communities. Studies have shown that people of color are more likely to live near hazardous waste sites and polluting factories than their white counterparts. They are also more likely to suffer from health problems like asthma and cancer as a result of exposure to toxins and pollution.
In recent years, there has been an increased focus on environmental racism – the disproportionate exposure of minority communities to hazardous waste and pollution. In many cases, these communities are located near facilities that produce or store toxic chemicals, putting them at greater risk for serious health problems.
The case is still pending, but it highlights the importance of activism in addressing environmental racism. Through their work, activists are helping to ensure that all communities have the right to clean air and water and that those who violate this right are held accountable