Log on to map out dangers near your home

By Duane Shimogawa - bio | email

KALIHI (KHNL) - Making sure you're safe at home includes more than just locking your door.

Now, you can log onto a Web site that tells you whether your home is located near hazardous waste.

The site, Maphazards.com gives you a closer look at what type of hazardous materials are near your home.

Some of these hazards include spills, leaks, or clean-ups of storage tanks and solid waste landfills.

Pauline Mendoza grew up on the countryside of Oahu. But ever since she's lived near town in a crowded area in Kalihi, she's always wondered what dangerous materials were actually around her apartment.

"Lots of pollution," she said. "I wouldn't want to drink dirty water, I would want to have nice, fresh water, the water we take a bath in, I would like to have clean, mountain water, that's clean fresh water."

For a small fee, you can get a detailed report. but for free, it'll give you a look at where these hazardous areas are. All you have to do is go to Maphazards.com and type in your address.

"It's useful for them because it makes them aware of any type of potential hazards to ground water, soil in their area," Maphazard official Chris Olsen said.

Many who live in an industrial area, just want to know if there are any hazardous materials near their homes.

"It would help the environment, cleaner environment and not so much hazardous waste around the place, that would be a lot of help," Mendoza said. "It's all companies around us and just a lot of noise, sometimes pollution too, but that's what we get to live with in an industrial area."

A Maphazards official says it's also useful to people who are moving into a new area. They say real estate agents have used their site to help home buyers as well.

"There are 1.7-million records of hazards, so there is a lot of information out there, a lot of it can seem scary on the surface, but with some analysis and providing this to them, they can get answers to see what's going on in their neighborhoods," Olsen said.

Answers that Mendoza and others hope to map out.