Need help finding a neighborhood to live in? The state Department of Health yesterday introduced its new cancer map that lets you see how many people in each census block have cancer, and what types of hazardous materials are nearby.
The new map, which surely will not upset anyone, allows users to choose from a wide range of options — like where the nearest hazardous waste generators are, active solid waste sites, and commercial pesticide sellers in the area that can totally give you cancer. Plus, a pop-up window for each census block breaks down the number of people living with cancer in the selected area, and what type of cancer they have. Is that reason enough to avoid a certain area, or even move from your current neighborhood? The Health Department is leaving that for you to decide!
Both the state Health Department and the American Cancer Society opposed creating the map when it was proposed two years ago, but have since changed course and are backing the idea, which was approved by Governor Paterson. In 2008, the American Cancer Society wrote to the governor's office, saying "giving people potentially misleading information about the relative danger or safety of living or working in a specific neighborhood or region is no service to them." But a senior vice president at the society told the New York Times that the FAQ section of the website has enough information for the general public to draw their own conclusions from.
You see, the state trusts you. And if you're looking around for a new place to live, maybe try to avoid waterfront areas in Brooklyn — they're dangerous as hell and can kill you.