A word on # BlackLivesMatter and Environmental Pollution

Though #BlackLivesMatter focuses on police racism and brutality, and that is where our attention needs to be, recent events bring to mind research in my chosen profession (Environmental Toxicology) clearly showing that pollution disproportionately kills African Americans

The evidence isn’t hard to follow…

There exist stark racial inequities in exposure to environmental pollution in the USA

Exposure to environmental pollution impairs health, e.g., cardiovascular & respiratory illness, diabetes, and birth defects.

African Americans suffer significantly more from cardiovascular & respiratory illness, diabetes, etc. than other ethnic groups in the USA.

Of relevance to other contemporary crises, these health disparities help explain why African Americans have increased risk of death from COVID-19

As argued by many, Environmental Justice and Social Justice are indeed intrinsically interconnected.

By working to tackle environmental pollution, we can relieve the pressure of yet another knee that has been pressing on the necks of African Americans for generations.

About whiteheadresearch

Andrew Whitehead is a Professor in the Environmental Toxicology Department at UC Davis, and a member of the Coastal and Marine Sciences Institute, the Center for Population Biology, the Graduate Group in Ecology, the Integrative Genetics and Genomics Graduate Group, and the Pharmacology and Toxicology Graduate Group.
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