Carcinogenic air pollution in the US southern border



by LORENZO CIOTTI

Carcinogenic air pollution in the US southern border

"Air pollution poses serious and socially inequitable risks to public health. Social disparities are marked along the US-Mexico border, yet prior research has not assessed inequities in air pollution exposure across the entire US-side of the border region.

We apply an intersectional approach to examine contextually relevant sociodemographic variables, including Hispanic/Latinx ethnicity by race and nativity by citizenship, and cancer risks attributable to air pollution exposures.

We pair data from the 2012-2016 American Community Survey with 2014 National Air Toxics Assessment estimates of carcinogenic risks from all sources of hazardous air pollutants at the census tract level and use a series of generalized estimating equations to assess inequities in risk.

Increased concentrations of renter-occupants, Hispanics, mid-to-high socioeconomic status households, and foreign-born citizens were associated with elevated risks. Hispanic ethnicity intersected with non-White racial identification to amplify risks.

In contrast, increased concentrations of non-Hispanic Black people and foreign-born non-citizens were not associated with disparate risks. To ameliorate environmental health inequities in this context, research and policy actions must be tailored to the US-Mexico border and consider intersectional positions within the Hispanic population." This is what was reported in the study Carcinogenic air pollution along the United States' southern border: Neighborhood inequities in risk, published on the Environmental research.

The effects on human health due to poor air quality mainly involve the respiratory system and the cardiovascular system. Individual reactions to air pollutants depend on the type of pollutant a person is exposed to, the degree of exposure, the individual's state of health and genetics.

Indoor air pollution and poor urban air quality are listed as two of the world's worst toxic pollution problems in the 2008 report. Outdoor air pollution causes 2.1 to 4.21 million dead every year. Collectively, air pollution causes the deaths of approximately 7 million people worldwide each year and is the largest single environmental health risk in the world.