According to a new report, air inhaled by Americans is not equal as Blacks tends to inhale polluted air rather than whites. “Pollution is disproportionately caused by whites, but disproportionately inhaled by black and Hispanic minorities,” the study said. The air quality has been improved in the U.S. from a decade but still, the problems persist. In the U.S. this is the main health concern as many deaths occur because of the air pollution.

“Even though minorities are contributing less to the overall problem of air pollution, they are affected by it more,” said study co-author Jason Hill, an engineering professor at the University of Minnesota, who is white. “Is it fair (that) I create more pollution and somebody else is disproportionately affected by it?”

Hill said that while the air in the U.S. has gotten cleaner in the past decade, pollution inequity has remained stubbornly high. “What is especially surprising is just how large pollution inequity is and has been for well over a decade,” Hill said. The dangerous particulate matter of PM 2.5 can go into our lungs and can cause great damage to our lungs. These particulate matters are smaller than our hair and are produced by the power plant and burning materials.

It is weird to know that blacks are more prone to inhale the polluted air. About 56% of the blacks are exposed and the ratio increases for Hispanic with 63%. “On average, whites tend to consume more than minorities. It’s because of wealth,” Hill said. Whites generally tend to spend money on the goods which are pollution-intensive as compared to blacks or Hispanics so whites contribute to the more pollution percentage of America.

“Someone had to make the pen you bought at the store,” said study co-author Julian Marshall, an engineering professor at the University of Washington. “We wanted to look at where the pollution associated with making that pen is located. Is it close to where people live? And who lives there?”

Texas Southern University professor Robert Bullard said, “These findings confirm what most grassroots environmental justice leaders have known for decades, ‘whites are dumping their pollution on poor people and people of color.”


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