Petcoke Exposure Risk

near KCBX Terminals


Wind Speed: 13.9 mph Out of the Southwest

13.9 mph

Forecast generated at 2:50:37 AM
Data provided by

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You'll receive a text when winds near KCBX Terminals exceed 15 miles per hour

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What is this?

This is a text message alert system to inform residents around KCBX Terminals that windspeed is high, and that they are therefore at increased risk of exposure to petroleum coke ("petcoke"). If you enter your phone number above, we will alert you when winds exceed 15 mph, the level deemed hazardous by the Chicago Department of Public Health. Longterm studies by Harvard University and the American Cancer Society have concluded that prolonged exposure to particulate matter such as petcoke increases the risk of heart disease and may increase the risk of lung cancer.

What is petcoke?

  • Petcoke is short for Petroleum Coke. It is a waste byproduct of the oil refining process that can be sold for use in some manufacturing processes.
  • Petcoke dust is extremely fine, and when it becomes airborne can cause long- and short-term damage to the heart and lungs.
  • KCBX Terminals, Inc. maintains two massive, open-air stockpiles of petcoke on Chicago's Southeast side in the immediate vicinity of a residential neighborhood, exposing thousands of Chicagoans to windblown particulate matter.

Why Should I Be Concerned?

Environmental studies show airborne Petcoke causes air quality issues that affect health and well being. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's pamphlet Particle Polution and Your Health

Small particles less than 10 micrometers in diameter pose the greatest problems, because they can get deep into your lungs, and some may even get into the bloodstream. Exposure to such particles can affect both your lungs and heart.
Long term exposures, such as those experienced by people living for many years in areas with high particle levels, have been associated with problems such as reduced lung function and the development of chronic bronchitis — and even premature death…

Click Here to download Particle Pollution and Your Health.

Click Here to learn more about the Environmental Protection Agency's response to Petcoke in Chicago.

Click Here to access the Environmental Protection Agency's Petcoke Monitoring Data.

What can I do?