Neoprene is not exactly a household word, but it’s certainly made its way into most U.S. homes.
It’s a synthetic rubber used in hoses, mouse pads, leggings, yoga mats, wetsuits and Halloween masks. The main chemical used to make neoprene is chloroprene, and it is only produced in one place in the country: the Dupont-Denka plant just upriver from New Orleans in St. John the Baptist Parish.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency says chloroprene is being released into the air in large quantities there, and the chemical is likely a cause of cancer.
This is a three-part series exploring the infamous "Cancer Alley" along the river parishes of southeast Louisiana.