Union of Concerned Scientists Report
In a new analysis, the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) found that African American, Asian American and Latino residents of the region face significantly higher exposure to pollutants known as PM 2.5—airborne particles smaller than 2.5 micrometers in diameter.
The numbers show a clear pattern. On average, African American residents in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic regions are exposed to 61 percent more PM 2.5 pollution than white residents. Asian American residents are exposed to 73 percent higher levels, and Latino residents 75 percent higher levels, than white residents. Of the 72 million people in the region, almost one-fifth live in areas where PM 2.5 pollution levels are more than 50 percent higher than their state’s average—and 60 percent of those residents are people of color. Meanwhile, in areas where this pollution measures less than half the state’s average, 85 percent of the population is white.