In a federal study completed by the U.S. Court of Appeals in response to President Obama’s Clean Power Plan, it was found that coal-fired power plants disproportionately harm the Latino and African American community.
According to the report, this phenomena is because these demographics tend to live in more poorer communities near coal-powered power plants. As reported by the Huffington Post, Hispanics are a whopping 165% more likely to live in counties with unhealthy levels of power plant pollution than non-Latino whites.
Nearly 20% of all Latinos nationwide live within 30 miles of these sooty plants.
On the other hand, 71% of African Americans live in counties with poor air quality, while 68% live within 30 miles of a coal fired plant. Even though these statistics are grim, health experts are questioning why Latinos are so disproportionately affected.
Problem is, no one knows.
Out of the estimated 24 million Americans who suffer from asthma, Hispanics are 60% greater than any demographic to visit the hospital due to complications.
Air pollution isn’t limited only to industrial plants, as this starts in your home. Improper HVAC equipment installation has the ability to decrease your home’s heating and cooling efficiency by 30%, while putting harmful pollutants into both your home and environment.
Plus, all this coal fueled smog is causing severe climate change, which poses yet another threat to Latinos nationwide.
A report released by the National Resources Defense Council shows how Latinos are impacted by harmful greenhouse gases due to where they live and work. In Nuestro Futuro: Climate Change and U.S. Latinos, the NRDC released a comprehensive list of all the health and economic impacts Latinos are currently facing.
Included in the list :
- A majority of Latinos live in California, New York, Texas, and Florida, states that are currently facing a pollution epidemic.
- The Hispanic demographic as a whole generally have less access to health insurance, which exacerbates their symptoms.
- Nearly 25 million of the country’s 65 million Latinos live in the 15 worst areas for ground-ozone level production, which puts them at risk for premature death, lung cancer, and severe asthma.
- Hispanic children are 70% more likely to be admitted to the hospital for asthma related ailments than non-Hispanics.