Mpls air pollution affects blacks more than whites, U of M study finds

AirPollution.jpg
Predominantly nonwhite neighborhoods near power plants or busy highways have particularly polluted air, the study finds.
:::: UPDATE :::: U of M's Julian Marshall surprised by public health implications of race-air pollution study

A study recently put together by a group of environmental scientists at the University of Minnesota finds that people of color living in American cities are exposed to a lot more air pollution than urban whites.

The research, which overlays census and air-quality data, finds that the correlation between race and the amount of nitrogen dioxide a person is exposed to is stronger than the correlation between between exposure and income. (Read the study here.)

See also:
Cocaine, antidepressants found in roughly one-third of Minnesota lakes, study finds

The findings hold true for Minneapolis, which is in the highest quintile of cities with regard to the difference in air quality between neighborhoods primarily inhabited by people of color and those primarily inhabited by whites.

Nitrogen dioxide is mainly emitted from combustion in vehicles and power plants. It's "a marker for traffic emissions and has high within-urban variability," the paper notes, meaning that while one neighborhood might have relatively clean air, an adjacent one might be polluted thanks in part to a busy highway running through it, for example.

Nationally, the study finds that population-weighted nitrogen dioxide concentrations are 38 percent higher for nonwhites than for whites.

"The environmental health implications of that concentration disparity are compelling," the paper says. "For example, we estimate that reducing nonwhites' NO2 concentrations to levels experienced by whites would reduce Ischemic Heart Disease (IHD) mortality by ~7,000 deaths per year, which is equivalent to 16 million people increasing their physical activity level from inactive (0 hours/week of physical activity) to sufficiently active (>2.5 hours/week of physical activity)."

Minnesota ranks 15th among states with regard to the difference between average nitrogen dioxide concentrations for nonwhites and whites. New York is the worst offender, with Wisconsin ranking ninth.

As far as implications go, the researchers write, "Results given here can aid policy-makers in identifying locations with high environmental injustice and inequality."

We reached out to one of the study's co-authors, environmental engineering professor Julian Marshall, but he hasn't yet gotten back to us yet as this is published (We've since talked to him -- read our follow-up here).

-- Follow Aaron Rupar on Twitter at @atrupar. Got a tip? Drop him a line at arupar@citypages.com.


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44 comments
Eric Suchon
Eric Suchon

I'm sure city planners sat down and said "let's find where the colored people live and plant power plants next to them. Also let's make sure high emission vehicles are cheap and easy to find. If they won't move away from the city, we'll just kill them off with pollution"

Truth_Teller_1
Truth_Teller_1 topcommenter

The other day, City Pages ran an article about the high cost of college education.

Put 2 & 2 together.   Anyone can 'study' anything and come up with a conclusion - within the context of their study.   This is what we people are paying for - BS like this.  It fills a void - sorta like bad TV shows.   Really it doesn't deserve to be reported on.

What is really sad is that some of the people fall (relate) for it!

Whenever you hear 'a study' - put your BS detector on full alert.

grrrrlfrienn
grrrrlfrienn

As a liberal, I would like it if one of you conservatives would come over and scratch my balls every time they itch. And believe you me, they itch a lot.


You don't need any special skills. And this isn't some kind of gay thing either. It's not like I'm asking you to come over and stick your conservative middle finger up my ass to tickle my prostate. Why were you even thinking that? You Conservative gay.

kurt124
kurt124 topcommenter

Just what we would expect from Democrats running our Universities, rotting minds while forcing them to go in major debt.  

Zachary Marko
Zachary Marko

Is it a coincidence that a nuclear power plant sits 600 yards from a community of indigenous people on Prairie Island?

FuckTheDFL
FuckTheDFL

Maybe Rep. Karen Clark can author a bill requiring all pollution to go through racial sensitivity training.

FuckTheDFL
FuckTheDFL

Perhaps the real issue has nothing to do with pollution, but rather from exposure to smoke from crack cocaine and Newport 100's.

Curt W. Schneider
Curt W. Schneider

Since Citypages has a reputation for writing stupid articles that are completely serious, it is really hard to tell when they are actually tongue in cheek.

John Bunch
John Bunch

But it was government policy that put freeways next to the inner city

Paul Tollefson
Paul Tollefson

Doesn't City Pages have more important things to post? Like more pics of Juggalos. Ok?

Kirk Burback
Kirk Burback

See, I knew something was wrong with section 8 housing. The neighborhoods with the highest concentrations of section 8 are always the dirtiest and most un-kept (garbage everywhere) . Now we all know, it is because the section 8 concept itself is racist. Air pollution is racist...Your mind has to be made of mush to allow such science hacks to influence you into believing this crap. Sad thing, these hack come out of the U of M.

digitalprotocol
digitalprotocol topcommenter

poor people live by power lines too


this is real estate shit, not racism

John Moore
John Moore

"the correlation between race and the amount of nitrogen dioxide a person is exposed to is stronger than the correlation between between exposure and income" i think you are letting the word racist, probably chosen for a concise headline, inflame your senses. no one is actually being accused of racism.

Forrest Cahoon
Forrest Cahoon

City Pages, not U of M, is "playing the race card" with the headline. I believe it was meant tongue-in-cheek, but looking at the comments here, I see people don't get that -- or at least, pretend not to get that so they can complain. My reading of the study (which looked at all US cities, not just Minneapolis) is that having income doesn't confer an equal ability to move out of poor neighborhoods to minorities as it does to whites.

C Will Davis
C Will Davis

Derrick Berg the air is racist too! Ha ha

mingtran
mingtran topcommenter

They should have conducted a study that was meaningful and not blatantly obvious. What a waste of time and money.

Del Bauer
Del Bauer

"eliminates the socio economic angle"? The fact that more non-whites lives in heavily polluted areas with lower property values IS the socio-economic angle.

Del Bauer
Del Bauer

I did read the article. My point was that this headline "Mpls air pollution is racist, U of M study finds" is absurd. I don't even want to know how much time and money was spent on this "study" either. It could have been summed up with one simple statement: More non-whites live in urban areas.

Will Chris
Will Chris

Are you f***ing shitting me? when will you race-baiters quit? air pollution? really?

Holly Fields
Holly Fields

Okay, at some point the race-card players have GOT to realize just how stupid they sound when they say these things.

John Moore
John Moore

the correlation eliminates the socio economic angle if you read the article. the article does not say that the pollution level is based on racism, just that the pollution itself is found more in nonwhite areas, which may have come about from any number of factors.

Del Bauer
Del Bauer

This is the most ridiculous thing i've ever read. A socio-economic issue maybe, but you're really saying the pollution levels are based on racism? Racist: you keep using that word....I do not think it means what you think it means.

Louie Lu Lettuce
Louie Lu Lettuce

When I moved here from Chicago...first thing I though..."Man, the air is cleaner here. I feel offended!" And I know it was done on purpose because I'm Hispanic....or so I'm told.

Marc Petersen
Marc Petersen

I don't think whites are creating high NO2 areas to inflict suffering on people of color. Ridiculous.

eddogg67
eddogg67

What a load of BS. Poor neighborhoods are poor for a reason. Usually because if higher crime rates.

aaron612
aaron612

@grrrrlfrienn  If you can tell me when your break is at the glory hole at the Gay 90's, I might be able to find an unemployed Obama voter to help with your diseased nut sack problem.  Heck I'm sure you'll find hundreds of gay Obama voters to help you out .

MicheleBachmann
MicheleBachmann topcommenter

@kurt124  Last night at the secret Democrat meeting we were trying to figure out how to screw over college students.  I was saying if we teach them guns are bad and cause global warming that  would really get conservatives like you mad and destroy America.   My friend Osama(muslim gay abortionist) was saying if we forced the kid's to pray to Allah 10 times a day that would make you the maddest.   Can you please vote for which option really boils your blood?   

Truth_Teller_1
Truth_Teller_1 topcommenter

It's where it is because it needs cooling water - you dumb ass!

MicheleBachmann
MicheleBachmann topcommenter

@FuckTheDFL  I bet you are really mad the liberal media is making Cliven Bundy look so stupid just because he said a bunch of stupid stuff.   



Dumb suckers like you losers are why Republicans are such a joke.  

Truth_Teller_1
Truth_Teller_1 topcommenter

@FuckTheDFL  The answer is swimming lessons and _______ People's Day.

Truth_Teller_1
Truth_Teller_1 topcommenter

Yeah, let's put the section 8 near Fargo.   I'm sure the air / water is cleaner up there.

SeniorCitizen
SeniorCitizen

When my parents moved to America after WWII, they wound up living in Del Ray, Michigan.  The Ford Motor Company smoke stacks pretty much filled the skyline outside our front door.  Still, my parents learned English, saved their earnings, and later we moved to what once was a little bit better area in Detroit where I went to public schools, then continued education elsewhere when Detroit collapsed after the Arab Oil Embargo of the 1970s.


Point is, I now live in a nice part of the Twin Cities away from the pollution and crime that surrounded me growing up.  It happened because I stayed in school, took more crappy jobs along the way than I can remember, and never gave up.  It had nothing to with skin color and everything to do with commitment.

Drewey
Drewey topcommenter

@eddogg67  if your too dumb to understand the complexities of socioeconomic advantages and disadvantages perhaps you should refrain from commenting.

FuckTheDFL
FuckTheDFL

Only liberals could come up with something that ridiculous. 

zacharysmarko
zacharysmarko

Yes, it's so difficult to find water in the land of 10,000+ lakes and several rivers. You've got a point.

mrblaq
mrblaq

@Drewey @eddogg67  If you're gonna call someone stupid (and they are) make sure you spell right.

ARTICLE TITLE MISLEADING AND DUMB. THIS STUDY REPORTS ON "US CITIES" NOT "MINNEAPOLIS"

FuckTheDFL
FuckTheDFL

@Drewey  Wouldn't it be nice if we could get rid of all white people here in America? You know, so all of America could be like Detroit?

Drewey
Drewey topcommenter

Thanks for the spell check champ

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