Environmental Justice and Environmental Health – Northern Manhattan & Beyond - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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Environmental Justice and Environmental Health – Northern Manhattan & Beyond

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  1. Environmental Justice and Environmental Health – Northern Manhattan & Beyond Grassroots AcademyApril 26, 2007 Anhthu Hoang, General Counsel West Harlem Environmental Action (WE ACT for Environmental Justice)

  2. WHAT IS AIR POLLUTION Definition Chemical, physical or biological agents that alter the natural characteristics of the Earth’s atmosphere Examples Chemical: Polycyclicaromatic hydrocarbons (PAH) Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) Physical: Particulate matter (PM), nuclear radiation Biological: Pollen, mold, germ warfare

  3. SOURCES OF AIR POLLUTION Human activities Manufacturing, trade & warfare Fuel & power production Agricultural production & burning Transportation Household activities & waste disposal Construction Natural? Volcanic eruptions, wildlife emissions, dust, wildfires, radiation

  4. ENVIRONMENTAL AND HEALTH IMPACTS OF AIR POLLUTION Human Disease Cancer Cardiovascular disease Respiratory disease Neurological & developmental Biological Environmental Impacts Plant & wildlife disease Genetic loss & species extinction Physical Environmental Impacts Global Warming & Climate change Acid rain & urban heat island

  5. NORTHERN MANHATTAN Demographics • 4 communities: East, Central, & West Harlem + Washington Hts • Over 600,000 people in 7.4 mi2 • 44% African-American; 44% Latino • Median household income: $14,896 (Central Harlem) $29,479 (Morningside Hts)

  6. Evidence of Disproportionate Exposures in the United States • United Church of Christ “Toxic Waste & Race” (1987) • 3 of 5 black and Hispanic Americanslive in communities with  1 unregulatedwaste site(s) • Race = single most important variableexplaining proximity to toxic waste site • Percentageof local population composed ofpeople of color directly correlatedwith number of commercial waste sites • 1994 Update • 1980-1993 percent people of color in all zip codes w/ toxic waste facilities increased from 25% to 31%

  7. Northern Manhattan Sources of Pollution • Six of sevenManhattan bus depots • Municipal diesel garbage truck depots • North River Sewage Treatment Plant • Poor housing (roughly 70% housing units built before 1930) • N. Manhattan hosts major inter- city truck routes • * Except E. Harlem with 28.3%

  8. Lack of Positive Environmental Factors • Lowest per capita and per acre ratio of parks, open space, & grocery stores • Poor pedestrian safety discourages physical activity, resulting in dangerous sedentary lifestyles • Co-location of industrial land uses with housing creates incentive to stay indoors

  9. Impact on Environmental Health: Asthma Health Disparities • Black children asthma 237% the rate of white children (2001) • People of color mortality rate 250% whites (2000) • East Harlem’s childhood morbidity rate is 300%citywide average and 600% national average Environmental links • Diesel, PM, ozone & other asthma triggers • Housing disrepair lead to pests & allergens

  10. Impact on Environmental Health: Childhood Lead Poisoning • National Childhood Lead Poisoning Rates • 64% children of color • 12% white • 36% unknown race (Centers for Disease Control, 2000) • In NYC, 90% of new cases involve children of color (NYC DOHMH, 2001)

  11. Impact on Overall Environmental Health • Poor Birth Outcomes • Low Birthweight • High Infant Mortality almost 2x city average • Poor Adult Health • % Women who are overweight > 2x state average • Diabetes almost 2x state average • Poor Cardiovascular Health • Mental health and emotional distress

  12. For More Information Anhthu Hoang WE ACT 271 W. 125th St. Suite 308 New York, NY 10027 anhthu@weact.org 212-961-1000, Ext. 311