Unequal Exposures: People in Poor, Non-White Neighborhoods Breathe More Hazardous Particles

Tiny particles of air pollution contain more hazardous ingredients in non-white and low-income communities than in affluent white ones, new research shows. The greater the concentration of Hispanics, Asians, African Americans or poor residents in an area, the more likely that potentially dangerous compounds such as vanadium, nitrates and zinc are in the mix of fine particles they breathe. Hispanics had the highest exposures to the largest number of these ingredients, while whites generally had the lowest. The findings of the Yale University study add to evidence of a widening racial and economic gap when it comes to air pollution. Communities of color and those with low education and high poverty and unemployment face potentially greater health risks even if their air quality meets federal health standards. Los Angeles, Pittsburgh, Cincinnati, St. Louis and Fresno are among the metropolitan areas with unhealthful levels of fine particles and large concentrations of poor minorities. For more summary information, click here. For the full article, click here.