Environmental Justice: Good for all

James Boyce

Do some communities “win” from environmental injustice? At first glance it may seem that when minorities and low-income neighborhoods suffer disproportionate air pollution, other people benefit from cleaner air. But in an analysis of exposure to toxic air pollution from industrial facilities in the United States, James Boyce and colleagues at the Political Economy Research Institute find that the┬ámetropolitan areas with the largest disparities also have the most pollution — so much so that even middle-and-upper-income whites breathe dirtier air than their counterparts in other cities. The implication: environmental justice can be good not only for minorities but for white folks, too.

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