In 2015, the Flint water crisis shocked America. In the greatest country in the world, children were literally being poisoned by the water they drank. Other cities soon reported similar lead contamination in their water supplies. Invariably, the worst impacted communities were those that were economically and racially marginalized. Similarly, air pollution also disproportionately harms America’s poor and minority communities. Home to several major industrial plants and distribution facilities, Mott Haven in the South Bronx has some of the worst air in the nation. The neighborhood has earned the dubious nickname of “Asthma Alley,” since residents are hospitalized for asthma over twenty-times more frequently than the rest of NYC. Residents also have much higher rates of cardiovascular diseases and other pollution-related illnesses. Unsurprisingly, Mott Haven is one of New York’s poorest neighborhoods. Nearly the entire population is also non-white.

 

 

Credit: iStock, milehightraveler

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