The City of Boston is home to an estimated 685,094 residents, and it’s located in Suffolk County, MA.
This report will help you become better acquainted with Boston and the surrounding area by addressing the following questions:
Hazardous Sites near Boston, MA
There are no Superfund sites in Suffolk County, MA. Superfund sites are areas that have been contaminated with hazardous substances. If not for the cleanup efforts orchestrated by the EPA, these sites could endanger people living in nearby communities.
The EPA uses the Hazardous Ranking System (HRS) to quantify the risk a contaminated site poses to human health and the environment. Sites assigned HRS scores of 28.5 or greater qualify for placement on the National Priorities List (NPL), and are eligible to receive federal funding for cleanup efforts.
Before the EPA deletes a site from the NPL, it conducts reviews to ensure the cleanup was sufficient. As a result, some sites remain on the active site list long after cleanup activities are complete.
Fortunately, there are no NPL sites in Suffolk County, MA. If you would like to learn the location of the nearest Superfund site, check out our free Hazardous Site Locator.
Air Quality in the Boston, MA Area
The two most widespread forms of air pollution are ozone (smog) and particle pollution (soot). Exposure to these harmful pollutants, for even just a short period, can have adverse effects on your health.
Thanks to data collected by air monitoring equipment located across the country, the American Lung Association (ALA) is able to assess and track our air quality using three metrics:
In their 2019 annual report, the ALA rated the air quality in Suffolk County, MA as follows:
Grading Scale: A-F
Grading Scale: A-F
Grading Scale: Pass/Fail
Radon Levels in Boston, MA Area
Air quality inside your home can be impacted by a number of factors, including the presence of hazardous substances in building materials (asbestos, lead, formaldehyde, etc.) and local radon levels.
Radon is a naturally occurring gas you cannot see or smell. It can build up inside your home and negatively impact your indoor air quality as well as your health.
To provide a guideline, the EPA assigned one of three zones to each U.S. county and county equivalent:
The average indoor radon reading in Suffolk County, MA is predicted to be less than 2 picocuries per liter (pCi/L), so the county has been assigned EPA Radon Zone 3.
EPA Radon Zone
But, it's worth mentioning homes with elevated levels of radon have been found in all three radon zones. So, despite the fact Boston, MA is in EPA Radon Zone 3, you should have a radon test performed on any home you purchase in the area.
Water Quality in Boston, MA Area
In accordance with the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA), the EPA sets regulatory limits for drinking water contaminants known to cause adverse health effects.
Using data from the EPA's Safe Drinking Water Information System (SDWIS), we found no violations for regulated contaminants reported for Suffolk County, MA, as of the third quarter of 2019.
In addition to setting enforceable standards for harmful contaminants, the EPA also established guidelines to assist public water providers in managing the taste, odor and color of their drinking water.
To find out more about what’s in your drinking water, contact your utility company and request a copy of the latest Consumer Confidence Report.
Sources and Methods
Hazardous Sites: Identified using a report from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), hazardous sites detailed on trendingtowns.com represent sites contained on the National Priorities List (NPL) as of November 25, 2019. The NPL is the list of national priorities among the known releases or threatened releases of hazardous substances, pollutants, or contaminants throughout the United States and its territories. All site-related data was sourced from the EPA.
Air Quality: Grades for ozone, short-term particle pollution, and year-round particle pollution were obtained from State of the Air 2019, a report compiled by the American Lung Association.
Radon Zones: Radon zone designations were obtained using a public use dataset provided by the EPA (September 11, 2019).
Water Quality: Drinking water violation data was sourced from the Safe Drinking Water Information System (SDWIS), a public use database provided by the EPA. The dataset included violations submitted to the database as of the third quarter of 2019.
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