Map: Income, Race, and Toxic Release in Detroit


Elisavet Papatheodorou, MSW created this map for a community group in the Delray area of Southwest Detroit. She writes:

“Low-income communities of color in urban areas often bear a disproportionate burden of environmental pollution. This map measures environmental justice disparities in Wayne County communities based on the presence of toxic chemicals and one social factor: median family income.”

The data sources for the map:

“This map shows EPA Toxic Release Sites in Wayne County, Michigan as they related to median family income in 2009 (American Community Survey, 2005—2009). Green points mark toxic release sites while income brackets are classified by color. White areas on the map signify areas without income data. These are often industrial parks or complexes.  Note the white areas such as Zug Island and Carbon Works.

Note the concentration of sites in Southwest Detroit and adjoining suburbs such as River Rouge. Conversely, note the absence of sites in proximity to the highest income areas such as Grosse Pointe.”


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