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‘Blame White People, Science Says’ – Study: White people to blame for pollution – But blacks and Hispanics suffer the most

Blame White People, Science Says: White people are primarily the cause of the disproportionate amount of pollution inhaled by Black and Hispanic communities across the United States, new research shows. An extensive study published Monday in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences examines racial disparities in exposure to particulate pollution–which kills around 100,000 Americans per year–as well as how much of that pollution can be attributed to different populations. The researchers found that while Black and Hispanic people are exposed to 56 and 63 percent more pollution than they make, respectively, white people enjoy a “pollution advantage” of being exposed to 17 percent less pollution than they create. “These findings confirm what most grassroots environmental justice leaders have known for decades, ‘whites are dumping their pollution on poor people and people of color’,” Robert Bullard, known as the “father of environmental justice,” told the AP. (APWashington Post $, Reuters)


WaPo: Study: White people to blame for pollution – But blacks and Hispanics suffer the most
Excerpt: By Isaac Stanley-Becker March 12 at 4:59 AM
Air pollution, the leading environmental cause of death worldwide, reflects the stark racial inequalities of American life. In the United States, the problem is disproportionately caused by the white majority, but its consequences are suffered mainly by blacks and Hispanics.

That is the finding of a new study, about five years in the making, published Monday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. The results illuminate the fault lines of the lethal environmental danger, which is inseparable from the threat of climate change and responsible for more deaths globally each year than automobile accidents.

The research confirms with new statistical certainty the determination that racial and ethnic minorities are acutely vulnerable to air pollution because of the neighborhoods in which they live. But it also introduces a largely unstudied element into the analysis, examining who is responsible for the pollutants inhaled disproportionately by blacks and Hispanics. The answer, according to a nationwide team of engineers and economists, is white people.The researchers argue that white people are disproportionately to blame for the consumption of goods and services generating dangerous particles known as “fine particulate matter,” which gets lodged deep in the lungs, causing inflammation that triggers strokes and heart attacks, as well as cardiovascular and respiratory diseases. However, this segment of the population doesn’t endure an equivalent share of the consequences.

The study concludes that white people enjoy a so-called pollution advantage. They bear the burden of 17 percent less air pollution than is generated by their own consumption. Blacks and Hispanics, on the other hand, experience a “pollution burden.” They face 56 percent and 63 percent more exposure, respectively, than is caused by their consumption.


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