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Its an Emergency: People at Risk by CityTech blogger Angel Orellana

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

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6 Responses

  1. This is a really important issue and you provide a helpful introduction. Environmental justice is often overlooked studies on environmental degradation. Thank you for bringing up these points and providing helpful statistics. It’s good that you tie in the personal to the broad implications at the end, as well. I hope this topic will gain more mainstream attention and that meaningful work can be done to help low SES and minority communities faced with dangerous products of a broken system.

  2. Environmental racism is especially prevalent in New York City. Much research on environmental racism focuses on air pollution and exposure to hazardous materials. However, little formal research has been done to analyze spatial equity of urban green spaces and their accompanying ecological benefits. In a course research paper, I am currently using GIS and EJScreen to determine any patterns in NYC of urban green space distribution. So far, data found has suggested that higher income areas in New York generally have greater urban green space than their lower income counterparts in the same borough.

  3. I think this is an example that humans are not only destroying the Earth with the release of greenhouse gases they are also killing humans because the gases that are release to the air is causing people to get sick for example in the blog the author said the people they have a elevated risk of cancer because they live near the industries and also the little kids are getting sick because of all this pollution I hope people stop this because they are not only destroying the Earth they are also killing their own people.

  4. Thank you for bringing this important issue about how environmental effects on humans have been caused by the fossil fuel industry. As we may know, human activities are very important to the society we live in. The burning of fossil fuels like coal and oil has increased the concentration of carbon dioxide which leads to global warming. Therefore, we should take actions not only for toxic pollution caused by the fossil fuel industry but also to other risk factors that are doing harm to our community.

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