Why the "wrong side of the tracks" is usually the east side of cities
- 174,923 Views
- 624 Questions Answered
- TED Talk
Air pollution and racial justice are closely intertwined, as communities of color are disproportionately affected by the harmful effects of air pollution. Studies have shown that people of color are more likely to live in areas with higher levels of air pollution and are more likely to suffer from related health problems such as asthma, heart disease, and lung cancer. This is often due to systemic racism and environmental injustice, as these communities are more likely to be located near sources of pollution such as highways, industrial plants, and waste disposal sites. Therefore, reducing air pollution is not only important for public health, but it is also a matter of racial justice and equity. Efforts to improve air quality must take into account the disproportionate impact on communities of color and prioritize their protection and well-being.
The global impacts of air pollution
Air pollution has been linked to a range of health problems, including respiratory and cardiovascular diseases, and there is a growing body of evidence linking it to mortality rates.
The main culprits in air pollution that are particularly harmful to human health are particulate matter (PM), nitrogen dioxide (NO2), and ozone (O3).
Particulate matter is made up of tiny particles that are small enough to be inhaled deep into the lungs and can cause inflammation, aggravate asthma, and contribute to heart disease. NO2 and O3 are both known to irritate the lungs and exacerbate respiratory conditions such as asthma.
Exposure to high levels of air pollution has been linked to premature death from heart disease, stroke, lung disease, and cancer. Studies have also shown that long-term exposure to air pollution can reduce life expectancy.
One study published in The Lancet estimated that air pollution caused 9 million premature deaths worldwide in 2015, making it the fourth-leading risk factor for premature death globally.
Another study by the World Health Organization found that air pollution caused 7 million premature deaths worldwide in 2016, with the majority of these deaths occurring in low- and middle-income countries.
Overall, the evidence is clear that reducing air pollution is essential for improving public health and reducing mortality rates. Governments and individuals can take steps to reduce air pollution, such as using public transport, switching to clean energy sources, and reducing car use.
Create and share a new lesson based on this one.
More from Earth School
Lesson duration 12:38
Lesson duration 12:35
Lesson duration 10:01
Lesson duration 25:55