Particulate matter pollution can result in health issues affecting the lungs and heart, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. The problems include decreased lung function, aggravated asthma, irregular heartbeat and nonfatal heart attacks.
Black and Hispanic people bear the brunt of breathing the most polluted air despite not emitting the majority of it, a recent study found.
Findings published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences in March revealed that Black communities have a “pollution burden” of 56 percent excess exposure of what they consume, while that of Hispanics is 63 percent relative to what they consume. Meanwhile, the study stated that non-Hispanic whites have a “pollution advantage” where they are exposed to 17 percent less air pollution exposure than their consumption causes.
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