Many African Americans live in a place where they are exposed to toxic air pollution from from the fossil fuel industry. The study revealed that “more than 1 million African Americans live within a half-mile of natural gas wells, processing, transmission, and storage facilities, and 6.7 million live in counties with refineries, potentially exposing them to an elevated risk of cancer due to toxic air emissions.” This means that a lot of African Americans that live near these fossil fuel wells are exposed to hazardous air pollution which could result in cancer or health diseases. The president of the National Medical Association Doris Brown, is worried about air pollutants that the people are breathing, because in the future it could cause health diseases. The study used the U.S. EPA National Inventory and the National Air Toxic Assessment data which concentrates on emissions and health by county to make an astonishing find. The study found that the oil and gas emissions were attributed to 138,000 asthma attacks and 100,000 missed school days each year among African-American children. This is a big problem because kids are not only sick, but then fall behind in school. It is also an environmental issue because it affects the atmosphere which results in greenhouses gases and global warming. We have to find ways to reduce emissions or stop the fossil fuel industry because in the future it will affect a lot of people’s lives.
Photo Credit: Credit: Bill Abbott/CC-BY-SA-2.0