Do Two Pollutants Make You Sicker Than One?

The corner of 135th Street and Riverside Drive in West Harlem isn't on any Superfund list. Yet it's an environmental hot spot all the same. Close by, the North River treatment plant often emits a sulfurous odor as it processes 175 million gallons of sewage a day. Bulldozers kick up clouds of dust as they create a new state park on top of the plant. At the adjacent marine transfer station on the Hudson River, garbage trucks spew black smoke as they load trash onto barges headed for landfills on Staten Island. City buses using a nearby terminal add to the filth in the air. "We need to know if the convergence of so much pollution is a major health risk," says Peggy Shepard, co-founder of a community group, West Harlem Environmental Action.

To continue reading this article you must be a Bloomberg Professional Service Subscriber.