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This project aims at identifying the chemicals and their risk factors to public health, which were found underneath Public Place, a brownfield next to the Gowanus Canal. The site is heavily contaminated with coal tar — a toxic chemical by-product of gas manufacturing, which happened at the site for 100 years until the gas plant closed down in the 1960s and the land was seized by the city. Recently, the city has planned to develop Public Place into “Gowanus Green” and which will be comprised of a school and low-income housing units on this site. The aim of this research is to find out what kind of health issues can result from chemical exposure to naphthalene, benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene, and xylene pollutants on former Manufactured Gas Plant (MGP) sites when developed. For the first stage of this project, we will conduct medical research on chemicals and adverse health impacts. In addition, we will examine historical environmental justice struggles to determine what kind of data collection and documentation is needed to support a public health claim; second part of this research focuses on demographics and government.


This poster was presented at the 34th Semi-Annual Dr. Janet Liou-Mark Honors & Undergraduate Research Poster Presentation, May 5, 2021. Mentor: Prof. Nora Almeida (Library).



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