Even As Air Pollution Drops, Communities of Color in the U.S. Still Breathe Dirtier Air

Even As Air Pollution Drops, Communities of Color in the U.S. Still Breathe Dirtier Air

Although absolute disparities in terms of exposure to air pollution have fallen, relative disparities remain a new study published this week in Science showed. What they found, in the words of Emily Holden in The Guardian, was that “wealthy white Americans are still getting to breathe cleaner air than lower-income communities of color, despite significant nationwide reductions in pollution since the 1980s.”

Why This Matters: We see time and time again how intimately intertwined environmental justice is with racial justice. It is not enough that the absolute disparity of air pollution has fallen.

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New Study Shows People In Areas With Bad Air Pollution Are More Likely to Die

New Study Shows People In Areas With Bad Air Pollution Are More Likely to Die

Harvard researchers looked at the death rates for people who have had long term exposure to high levels of soot pollution (particulate matter or PM that comes from coal plants and older cars) and found they are higher than the death rates for people who lived in areas with cleaner air. 

Why This Matters:  This study should be raised every time the Republicans (or anyone) says that a stimulus measure tied to reducing air pollution is unrelated to recovery from COVID-19.  That is just flat out wrong.  Long term exposure to air pollution by its victims makes this virus more deadly.

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