People of color more exposed than Whites to air pollution

Written by Drew Costley
Published on 4th May 2021

In this Monday, March 23, 2020 file photo, a playground outside the Prince Hall Village Apartments sits empty near one of the petrochemical facilities in Port Arthur, Texas. According to a study published Wednesday, April 28, 2021 in the journal Science Advances, across America, people of color are disproportionately exposed to air pollution from industry, vehicles, construction and many other sources. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

A study published in the Science Advances Journal revealed that people of colour face higher exposure to air pollution compared to white people in the U.S. This study gathered data from government air pollution census data and found that regardless of where they live or their income, people of colour were disproportionately affected by dangerous levels of fine particle pollution from the majority of U.S. emission sources.

 Although there have been previous studies revealing that people of colour are disproportionately affected by air pollution, this study differs in that it researched the over 5000 types of fine particulate matter and divided them into 14 different sources of air pollution, from diesel trucks, vehicles, agriculture use, and calculated the exposure to each of these sources against different racial groups.

 This study was published days after Joe Biden assembled a summit of world leaders to discuss emission reductions. The study’s co-author Jason Hill, a biosystems engineering professor at the University of Minnesota, commented that he is hopeful that the findings of the study will influence legislators to implement more stringent laws for regulating air pollution.

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