Mar 12, 2019 10:06 PM EDT
Washington -- studies show that US air pollution is caused by most of its white consumers, while the Hispanics and African Americans seem to be the ones burdened by most of the emissions.
On average, American Americans are exposed to air pollution to about 56% than the pollution caused by their consumption of the goods and services that cause it. In a study published by the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Hispanics breathe burden of as much as 63 percent excess of exposure, on the average.
On the other hand, White Americans seem to experience a "pollution advantage." which means that they are only exposed to only 17 percent less air pollution than what they are causing.
Jason Hill, a professor of biosystems engineering at the University of Minnesota and co-author of the study, expressed, "What concerns me the most is the magnitude of difference in the exposure. It is too significant."
The study was the pioneer in identifying the so-called "inequality" in air pollution and they were able to track it over time.
Particulate matter pollution may be caused by a wide variety of factors including agriculture, coal-fired power plants, industrial pollutants, and even road dust. The Hispanics and the African Americans bear a higher proportion of the exposure to these pollutants mostly because of where they live, compared to where most of the White Americans mostly live, according to the study which tapped data from the consensus for their results interpretation.
The problem exists in most of the country including major cities like New York and Houston. Those living in industrial areas are most affected by the increase in pollutants in the air. The study was beneficiary 5-year grant money. It included several federal agencies such as the Environmental Protection Agency. It was first launched during the time of President Barack Obama. The grant is continuously funded by the current administration of President Trump.
Both the whites and racial minorities have benefitted from the clean air regulations put in place by the government. However, inequity in air pollution remains stubbornly stable. Public Health Advocates call for the administration of President Trump to put more grounding on the regulations for the power plant industry to decrease the harsh effects of air pollution on its people.
If it comes to determining who is causing pollution and who is suffering from its adverse effects, studies such as this could be considered as something at its infancy stage. What remains to be true is that something must be done to prevent it from getting worse.
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