New federal government-funded study finds exposure to a key air pollutant is significantly influenced by race, far more than by income, age or education
People of color are still far more likely to suffer from harmful air pollution than white people across the US and this disparity has barely improved in recent years, despite overall improvements in air quality, a new federal government-funded study has found.
Exposure to nitrogen dioxide, NO2, a key transportation-related pollutant, is significantly influenced by race, far more than by income, age or education, the paper found.
While the racial imbalance in pollution impacts has long been noted by researchers and environmental justice campaigners, the study found that progress in addressing it has been sluggish.
The report comes as the Trump administration has outlined plans to dismantle the EPAs office of environmental justice, which advocates for communities of color.
What surprised us is that race matters more than income when it comes to who is breathing in NO2, said Julian Marshall, UW professor of civil and environmental engineering and senior author of the study, published in Environmental Health Perspectives on Thursday.
I just stared at these findings and thought: What is going on? You would think places near highways would cost less. But its race that is driving this, not income. Urban planners tell us that cities are still really segregated people live close to people who look like them. We are seeing the outcome of that.