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Map showing oil spills from refineries in New Orleans, Baton Rouge corridor along the Mississippi River.
PHOTO CAPTION: Map showing oil spills from refineries in New Orleans, Baton Rouge corridor along the Mississippi River.

Where You Don't Want to Live: The Five Dirtiest Cities in America

If you're young, poor and black, there's a five times greater likelihood that you'll grow up suffering from asthma than your middle class, white counterpart.

Why?

Because you likely will grow up in some of the dirtiest cities in America, according to Brentin Mock writing in Grist. Reviewing a new EPA report, he cataloged the five dirtiest cities in the country which include New York City metro (#5), Baton Rouge-New Orleans corridor (#4), Long Beach-Bakersfields, CA (#3), Dallas-Ft. Worth (#2) and Houston-Galveston, TX (#1). And what is the common thread that links them? Generally, its energy refining, oil and gas primarily, along with petrochemicals derived from fossil fuels.

Mock points out that during a recent address to the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation last month, EPA chief Gina McCarthy pointed out that "emissions of co-pollutants such as nitrous oxide, hydrofluorocarbons, sulfur oxide, and soot contribute to as many as one in 10 deaths in urban areas."

“That is not acceptable,” she said.

“And we know that minorities are more likely to live near hazardous waste sites,” McCarthy added. “We know that respiratory and cardiac illnesses there are at a higher rate. For example, an African-American child is five times more likely than a white child to die from an asthma attack.”

So, if you plan to live long and prosper, you may want (1) reconsider your location choices, or (2) get politically active and start pressuring industry and its political supporters to clean up their acts.

SOURCE: Grist

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