How air pollution disproportionately affects women and minorities.

Have you ever visited a large town and found yourself coughing immensely? If so, it’s probably from air pollution. According to the World Health Organization, air pollution is an “invisible killer that lurks all around us, preying on the young and old,” but if you want to get more technical, it’s a mixture of natural and man-made substances in the air we breathe — typically separated into outdoor air pollution and indoor air pollution.



From smog hanging over cities to smoke inside the home, air pollution poses a major threat to health and climate. The combined effects of outdoor and indoor air pollution causes about 7 million deaths every year, largely as a result of increased mortality from stroke, heart disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, lung cancer and acute respiratory infections.


onsumption. For Hispanics, it is slightly higher – 63 percent. However, non-Hispanic whites experience a "pollution advantage," meaning they breathe about 17 percent less air pollution than whites cause. The burden of air pollution is not evenly shared. People who are in low socioeconomic positions and low-and middle income countries suffer from the highest exposures, both indoors and outdoors.


Image describing the emitted vs. inhaled air pollution between races

Blacks and Hispanics aren’t the only victims in this assailants silent warfare, women are also excessively affected. While air pollution is a global issue, there needs to be more attention on assessing the effect of air pollution on women’s health. With a possible link between exposure to toxins and the development of illness, including cancer, reproductive dysfunction and infertility, and immunologic impairment, there needs to be more accountability and arrestment towards these issues. e," meaning they breathe about 17 percent less air pollution than whites cause. The burden of air pollution is not evenly shared. People who are in low socioeconomic positions and low-and middle income countries suffer from the highest exposures, both indoors and outdoors.


Being associated with a low socioeconomic status consistently increased the risk of premature death from fine particle pollution. In a 2008 study that found greater risk for premature death for communities with higher African-American populations, also found greater risk for people living in areas with higher unemployment or higher use of public transportation. In 2016, a study of New Jersey residents found that the risk of dying early from long-term exposure to particle pollution was higher in communities with larger African-American populations, lower home values and lower median income.


The pollution imbalance standard is driven by disparities in the amount of goods and services that groups consume, and in exposure to the resulting pollution. These disparities are influenced by long standing societal trends, such as income inequality and political representation.


Because white Americans consume greater amounts of pollution-intensive goods and services, they are responsible for the creation of more PM2.5 pollution than other racial groups. Further, African Americans and Hispanics tend to live in locations with higher PM2.5 concentrations than white Americans, increasing their average daily exposure to the pollution.


Blacks and Hispanics aren’t the only victims in this assailants silent warfare, women are also excessively affected. While air pollution is a global issue, there needs to be more attention on assessing the effect of air pollution on women’s health. With a possible link between exposure to toxins and the development of illness, including cancer, reproductive dysfunction and infertility, and immunologic impairment, there needs to be more accountability and a formal addressing of these issues.


While the disproportionate effects of outdoor air pollution is still claimed by Blacks and Hispanics, indoor air pollution is one women can’t seem to get away from. According to WHO, millions of women – and it is mostly women – cook on stoves or fires that fill the room with thick smoke from polluting fuels such as wood, dung and coal.


There are numerous health impacts on people worldwide from air pollution, but some are more affected than others. Having any hope to rid our planet of air pollution has to start with accountability and an insistent need for further research on these disparities, while solving any pollution imbalance has to start with addressing the underlying cause of this inconsistency: racial inequality and a lack of representation.






Sources:

https://www.who.int/airpollution/en/

https://www.niehs.nih.gov/health/topics/agents/air-pollution/index.cfm

https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2019/03/11/air-pollution-inequality-minorities-breathe-air-polluted-whites/3130783002/

https://www.lung.org/our-initiatives/healthy-air/outdoor/air-pollution/disparities.html

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2019/03/190311152735.htm


Picture sources:

https://www.google.com/url?sa=i&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=images&cd=&ved=2ahUKEwiM59rwltPjAhWvct8KHe9ZAUUQjRx6BAgBEAU&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.washingtonpost.com%2Fweather%2F2018%2F11%2F08%2Fair-pollution-skyrockets-hazardous-levels-india%2F&psig=AOvVaw0xhuN-7ycTtiECcwAqsxvg&ust=1564250873461758

From smog hanging over cities to smoke inside the home, air pollution poses a major threat to health and climate. The combined effects of outdoor and indoor air pollution causes about 7 million deaths every year, largely as a result of increased mortality from stroke, heart disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, lung cancer and acute respiratory infections.

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