No doubt that Los Angeles is one of the most polluted cities in the nation. It also doesn’t help that areas that feature a high concentration of Black and Brown citizens are more susceptible to the effects of high pollution. Interestingly enough, those areas are usually near highly populated interstate highways. According to a Los Angeles Times feature, people living near 10, 110 and 105 are more likely to suffer from higher rates of asthma, heart attacks, strokes, lung cancer, preterm births, childhood obesity, autism and dementia.
Speaking with media outlet AfroLA, professor of urban planning and spatial analysis at the University of Southern California Price School of Public Policy Geoff Boeing said that though residents of LA all suffer from air pollution, “we just don’t all suffer equally.”
In a study he co-wrote titled “Local Inequities in the Relative Production of and Exposure to Vehicular Air Pollution in Los Angeles,” it was found that white and affluent LA residents are bringing pollutants through poorer areas. Gas-powered vehicles bring in nitrogen oxides which is a combination of nitrogen dioxide and nitric oxide. The Environmental Protection Agency under the Clean Air Act labels it as one of the six “criteria pollutants” known to be harmful to human health.
Speaking with the Los Angeles Times, Boeing even mentioned taking an air-quality monitor with him when looking for a home for him and his wife years ago. During the search, he found that the 101 in Echo Park had the highest readings. Historically, redlining and housing segregation has placed Black and Brown citizens in these areas which not only affects health but economic opportunities in terms of real-estate value.
Link: LA Times