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Thread: Air Pollution Worse In Poor, Black Neighborhoods

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    Veteran Member Madeline's Avatar
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    Air Pollution Worse In Poor, Black Neighborhoods



    Turns out scientists from the EPA's National Center for Public Health back up what the environmental justice movement has been decrying for years: That "people who live, work, and play in America's most polluted environments are commonly people of color and the poor."

    Published Feb. 22 by the American Journal of Public Health, the study is titled “Disparities in Distribution of Particulate Matter Emission Sources by Race and Poverty Status.” Its findings include that "those in poverty had a 1.35 times higher burden than did the overall population, and people of color had 1.28 times higher burden. Black people, specifically, had 1.54 times higher burden than did the overall population." In layperson's terms, that means African Americans had a 54 percent higher chance of being exposed to particulate emissions, which can aggravate rates of asthma and heart disease, and can lead to lower life expectancies.

    As the Natural Resources Defense Council has pointed out, it's no accident that poor people and minorities are disproportionately affected by pollution.

    "Communities of color, which are often poor, are routinely targeted to host facilities that have negative environmental impacts — say, a landfill, dirty industrial plant, or truck depot. The statistics provide clear evidence of what the movement rightly calls 'environmental racism.' Communities of color have been battling this injustice for decades," the NDRC writes.

    In other words, whenever there is a decision to locate something that pollutes the air, such as an incinerator or a refinery, the "invisible hand of the market" has a way of ensuring that poor and minorities are likelier than most to live downwind from it.

    Of course, this study is being released just as the EPA is being essentially gutted by the Trump administration. President Trump placed Oklahoma's Scott Pruitt in charge, a guy who described himself as a "leading advocate against the EPA's activist agenda" who sued the agency at least 14 times. He recently said he believes the Bible teaches us to harvest coal, gas, and oil. Pruitt's apparent disregard for environmental regulations has prompted the Union of Concerned Scientists to remind him that pollution kills people.

    Sadly, however apt those criticisms and warnings are about Pruitt, the agency already had a terrible record when it comes to ensuring environmental protection for poor communities of color. A report released in September 2016 by the United State Commission on Civil Rights said when it comes to protecting the victims of environmental injustice, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is close to worthless.
    https://www.clevescene.com/scene-and...-air-pollution

    Where to locate "dirty" businesses is not the only source of harm. Housing stock in poor black communities are many times more likely to contain lead paint, which when disturbed, can release lead particulates into the air. Crumbling streets are neglected, creating dust (among other hazards). Urban forestry programs tend to ignore these areas, removing a huge potential air cleaning asset. Lack of greenspace is more likely to create "heat islands", which magnify the damaging effect of air pollution on humans. Housing in poor, black neighborhoods are less likely to have adequately maintained, modern heating and cooling systems, so the interior spaces of homes offer far less relief from the impacts of air pollution to residents. Highway engineers are more likely to locate freeways and off-ramps near poor, black neighborhoods, bringing constant truck traffic and the exhaust it creates closest to these residences.

    As the EPA never has and likely never will mount any meaningful effort to address these racist injuries, the best possible approach seems to be local activism. Lawsuits don't seem likely to yield great results as the "wrongdoers" are too diffuse, remote and the impact of a single bad actor's decisions are unknowable but obviously not significant. It's the impact of the whole mini-ecosystem.

    Air pollution kills humans, shortens lives, compromises physical health, and causes neurological damage that can lead to higher rates of violent crime. It's not just that poor black kids in any American city have air as polluted as Shanghai, while middle class kids a few miles away have air as pure as a Swiss mountain top (at least indoors). Bear in mind, these residents are already at greater risk of water pollution as occurred in Flint. Obviously, these insults to the human body have a cumulative effect.

    If it's not just, it's not constitutional.

    IMO.

    Your thoughts?
    Last edited by Madeline; 26th February 2018 at 04:47 PM.

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    Looking at your chart, Manhattan is dominated by poor black people?
    Thanks from Madeline

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    Veteran Member Madeline's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Libertine View Post
    Looking at your chart, Manhattan is dominated by poor black people?
    Crappy choice of chart. I meant it to illustrate only that the air pollution levels can be tracked, scientifically, by neighborhood.

    Try this one, instead:



    Another excellent article, making a similar point:

    Air pollution and environmental justice ? a case from Minnesota (USA) | Sefira

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    Bizarroland Observer Thx1138's Avatar
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    Yeah, in the service we used to say "shit rolls down hill."



    DAMN... GOOD... VIDEO!

    You think there is no solution, there it is!^

    Now, the will to do so, overcoming the ignorance.. that might be impossible...

    But this is certainly do-able!

    Thx
    Thanks from Madeline

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    Quote Originally Posted by Madeline View Post
    Crappy choice of chart. I meant it to illustrate only that the air pollution levels can be tracked, scientifically, by neighborhood.

    Try this one, instead:



    Another excellent article, making a similar point:

    Air pollution and environmental justice ? a case from Minnesota (USA) | Sefira
    That shows that Manhattan is even worse than than the first chart??????????? It looks very similar to the East Coast chart?

    Is poverty and being black a problem in Manhattan?

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    Bizarroland Observer Thx1138's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Madeline View Post




    https://www.clevescene.com/scene-and...-air-pollution

    Where to locate "dirty" businesses is not the only source of harm. Housing stock in poor black communities are many times more likely to contain lead paint, which when disturbed, can release lead particulates into the air. Crumbling streets are neglected, creating dust (among other hazards). Urban forestry programs tend to ignore these areas, removing a huge potential air cleaning asset. Lack of greenspace is more likely to create "heat islands", which magnify the damaging effect of air pollution on humans. Housing in poor, black neighborhoods are less likely to have adequately maintained, modern heating and cooling systems, so the interior spaces of homes offer far less relief from the impacts of air pollution to residents. Highway engineers are more likely to locate freeways and off-ramps near poor, black neighborhoods, bringing constant truck traffic and the exhaust it creates closest to these residences.

    As the EPA never has and likely never will mount any meaningful effort to address these racist injuries, the best possible approach seems to be local activism. Lawsuits don't seem likely to yield great results as the "wrongdoers" are too diffuse, remote and the impact of a single bad actor's decisions are unknowable but obviously not significant. It's the impact of the whole mini-ecosystem.

    Air pollution kills humans, shortens lives, compromises physical health, and causes neurological damage that can lead to higher rates of violent crime. It's not just that poor black kids in any American city have air as polluted as Shanghai, while middle class kids a few miles away have air as pure as a Swiss mountain top (at least indoors). Bear in mind, these residents are already at greater risk of water pollution as occurred in Flint. Obviously, these insults to the human body have a cumulative effect.

    If it's not just, it's not constitutional.

    IMO.

    Your thoughts?
    In this particular case...

    The relative winds of the Earth in the Northern Hemisphere move west-to-east.

    So, any community east of a source of pollution is going to get it.

    So, "downwind" areas are always going to bear the brunt of pollution, and thus, those communities are going to be less attractive to live in, and it would have been this way for many decades.

    And depressed areas are rife with the things mentioned further in the article, ie lead paint and shoddy antiquated plumbing.

    But, is this scenario hopeless?

    No.

    But what is saved in one area should be applied to another's relief, emphasis on "should be."

    This shit can last as long as we are willing to put up with it...

    Thx
    Thanks from Madeline

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    Veteran Member Madeline's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Libertine View Post
    That shows that Manhattan is even worse than than the first chart??????????? It looks very similar to the East Coast chart?

    Is poverty and being black a problem in Manhattan?
    No, it's a chart of a city in Minnesota. As explained in the article I linked.

  8. #8
    Veteran Member Madeline's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thx1138 View Post
    In this particular case...

    The relative winds of the Earth in the Northern Hemisphere move west-to-east.

    So, any community east of a source of pollution is going to get it.

    So, "downwind" areas are always going to bear the brunt of pollution, and thus, those communities are going to be less attractive to live in, and it would have been this way for many decades.

    And depressed areas are rife with the things mentioned further in the article, ie lead paint and shoddy antiquated plumbing.

    But, is this scenario hopeless?

    No.

    But what is saved in one area should be applied to another's relief, emphasis on "should be."

    This shit can last as long as we are willing to put up with it...

    Thx
    It isn't necessary to solve all the problems to have a positive impact. Anyone can move the needle locally, and it's hugely rewarding. The payoff in human capital can be enormous.
    Thanks from Thx1138

  9. #9
    Ignorance Is Virtue BitterPill's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Libertine View Post
    Looking at your chart, Manhattan is dominated by poor black people?
    I wouldn't say black per se, but certainly people of color. You ever been there?

  10. #10
    Ignorance Is Virtue BitterPill's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Madeline View Post




    https://www.clevescene.com/scene-and...-air-pollution

    Where to locate "dirty" businesses is not the only source of harm. Housing stock in poor black communities are many times more likely to contain lead paint, which when disturbed, can release lead particulates into the air. Crumbling streets are neglected, creating dust (among other hazards). Urban forestry programs tend to ignore these areas, removing a huge potential air cleaning asset. Lack of greenspace is more likely to create "heat islands", which magnify the damaging effect of air pollution on humans. Housing in poor, black neighborhoods are less likely to have adequately maintained, modern heating and cooling systems, so the interior spaces of homes offer far less relief from the impacts of air pollution to residents. Highway engineers are more likely to locate freeways and off-ramps near poor, black neighborhoods, bringing constant truck traffic and the exhaust it creates closest to these residences.

    As the EPA never has and likely never will mount any meaningful effort to address these racist injuries, the best possible approach seems to be local activism. Lawsuits don't seem likely to yield great results as the "wrongdoers" are too diffuse, remote and the impact of a single bad actor's decisions are unknowable but obviously not significant. It's the impact of the whole mini-ecosystem.

    Air pollution kills humans, shortens lives, compromises physical health, and causes neurological damage that can lead to higher rates of violent crime. It's not just that poor black kids in any American city have air as polluted as Shanghai, while middle class kids a few miles away have air as pure as a Swiss mountain top (at least indoors). Bear in mind, these residents are already at greater risk of water pollution as occurred in Flint. Obviously, these insults to the human body have a cumulative effect.

    If it's not just, it's not constitutional.

    IMO.

    Your thoughts?
    I think you should change 'black' to 'minorities' in the title for accuracy's sake. Otherwise, what you describe is a common urban problem.

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