Levoit Blog

Air Quality and Environmental Justice

  • 1 min read

The Impact of Air Quality on Marginalized Communities 

Does pollution affect everyone equally? Let’s look at how pollution impacts our neighborhoods and communities. 

Vulnerable Communities 

As we all continue to grapple with climate change and air pollution, the conversation surrounding its impact on marginalized communities has risen in parallel. Poor air quality affects us all, but does everyone have the same resources to counteract its effects? 

Many studies have examined the short and long-term health effects of low air quality. Elderly, children, and those with pre-existing health conditions are particularly vulnerable to its harmful effects, as are residents of low-income and marginalized communities. 

According to the EPA, “Living near sources of air pollution including major roadways, ports, rail yards, and industrial facilities can lead to health effects like asthma, reduced lung function, cardiovascular disease, and premature death.”  Low-income communities are more likely to be near factories, major highways, and areas frequented by diesel trucks. They will be hit especially hard by the effects of pollution and, due to their marginalized circumstances, they may feel unable to move homes or improve their situation through public policy. 

If these communities are already struggling financially, pollution-related medical bills and will be an added burden. 

While the conversation regarding these disparities is just beginning, there are steps we can take right now to help our friends and neighbors. 

What’s Being Done 

Research: The EPA is partnering with other government agencies to pinpoint the behavioral, social, and economic factors contributing to disparities between communities, and how at-risk communities can be better equipped to protect themselves from the adverse health effects of pollution. 

Awareness: With the development of weather apps and wildfire monitoring tools, staying informed about the conditions of your area is easier than ever. These resources make news and local pollution updates accessible to anyone with internet access.  

Air Purifiers: Portable air purifiers enable people to protect their home’s air quality, no matter what’s going on outside their doors. Using specialized filtration systems, air purifiers remove unwanted pollutants such as smoke, fumes, dust, pollen, and more from indoor air. 

 

Sources: 

EPA Research: Environmental Justice and Air Pollution | US EPA 

 

Important Note    

The information provided here is for informational and educational purposes only and should not be used in medical emergencies or for diagnosing or treating any medical condition. It's crucial to consult a licensed medical professional for diagnosis and treatment. External links are for informational purposes and do not constitute endorsements. No warranty of any kind, either expressed or implied, is made as to the products and/or the accuracy, reliability, timeliness, or correctness of the information provided herein. 

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