Rebecca Fudala – The Lulu Project
Radioactive topsoil, carcinogenic substances in sewers, pollutants that deteriorate air quality and cause respiratory diseases – all exist within the city limits of New York City. Past arbitrary disposal of hazardous waste, manufacturing and industrial practices, and proximity to heavy traffic such as roads and highways have serious health consequences for residents.
In Ridgewood, Queens, the former Wolff-Alport Chemical Company produced a radioactive by-product called thorium. From the 1920s to 1954, thorium was disposed of in the sewer system and possibly buried
on the property. Under Superfund’s control, the property includes a delicatessen, residential buildings, and body shops.
The Bronx has the highest poverty rate in NYC. It also has one of the highest asthma rates in New York City. Asthma was found in 15.5% of 4-5 year olds in the Bronx, compared to 9.2% of children in New York City as
a whole. Residential areas in and around environmental health hazards
are generally the most affordable. Families with lower incomes have little choice in their choice of housing. As a result, they are at higher risk of suffering from health problems. This cycle is unfair and must be broken.
Rebecca Fudala, born in 1983, is a documentary photographer originally from Bloomington, Minnesota, USA and currently based in Manhattan, New York. Fudala has an academic background in international affairs and has worked internationally for human rights NGOs and as a photojournalist in the West Bank, Palestine. In 2020, she graduated from the Documentary Practice and Visual Journalism Program at the International Center of Photography in New York. Her current project looks at Superfund sites and toxic land in New York City.