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Challenging the FTAA, NAFTA & the WTO:
A Community Research Toolkit

September 2003

Uncovering Environmental Injustice & Health Impacts

Similar to documenting job loss from NAFTA & trade policies, researching environmental injustice & health impacts in your community means piecing together a lot of different information.

By using the Environmental Scorecards you can see which companies are the biggest polluters in your region and then run a news search on Lexis Nexis or on Google to locate any articles that show if they were proponents or benefactors of NAFTA. You can also run a search on the NAFTA-TAA database (see job loss section) to see if the company comes up as having laid-off workers due to NAFTA. This shows that the company not only laid-off workers due to NAFTA but may have also left a toxic legacy in its wake.

The Center for Disease Control's National Center for Health Statistics
http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/
Scroll down to see breakdowns of health data by state. The state profiles link takes you to a section that offers a state-by-state breakdown on air quality. This includes a table with a percentage of people living in counties not meeting EPA air quality standards.

Environmental Defense Scorecard
http://www.scorecard.org
Find detailed reports on chemicals released by more than 20,000 industrial facilities in the US (air pollutants, toxic chemical releases, animal waste from factory farms). Search by company and location (city, zip, county, state, etc.). Maps. Includes rankings of plant compared to its industry. Regulatory controls on specific chemicals and information on the health effects of the chemicals.

Right-to-Know Network (RTKNET) Databases
http://www.rtk.net
The Right to Know Network (RTK) provides free access to government information on toxic releases, toxic spills, Risk Management Plans, housing, superfund sites and other environmental results of manufacturing/industry. You can search by company, industry or geographic area. Databases go back a number of years. Once on the homepage, click DATABASES to the left of the screen, now you need to decide which databases to search. A MASTER search will search all of the databases simultaneously by geographic area, facility or industry. RTK NET was started in 1989 in support of the Emergency Planning and Community Right to Know Act (EPCRA), which mandated public access to the Toxic Release Inventory.

Southwest: Border Health
http://bphc.hrsa.gov/bphc/borderhealth/region.htm
The Health Resources and Services Administration of the US Dept of Health and Human Services has a Border Health Home Page which gives statistics on low rates of access to health care, border demographics and information on respiratory illnesses that are common due to air pollution from industry in many border towns.

Create your own NAFTA-Polluter Fact Sheet

Using the research you collect on NAFTA in your community you can build your own NAFTA Polluter Fact Sheet (35k PDF file, requires free Adobe Acrobat®Reader).

A project of the DataCenter's Economic Justice Program.

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Download the Toolkit
(457 kb PDF file, requires free Adobe Acrobat®Reader)

 

 

CONTENTS

Introduction
What Is the FTAA, NAFTA & WTO?
State & National Economic Picture
Trade Legislation & Disputes
NAFTA Job Losses In Your Community
Environmental Injustice & Health Impacts
Privatization of Public Services
Region-Specific Industry Information
Militarism & Migration
Privatization of Education
Popular Education Tools
Calendar of Actions
Community Networks & Other Resources

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