11. SUSTAINABLE CITIES AND COMMUNITIES

Health Burden of Air Pollution Differs Across Racial Groups

Health Burden of Air Pollution Differs Across Racial Groups
Written by ZJbTFBGJ2T

Health Burden of Air Pollution Differs Across Racial Groups  Technology Networks

Health Burden of Air Pollution Differs Across Racial Groups

Health Burden of Air Pollution Differs Across Racial Groups

A new study led by Yale University has found that reductions in fine particulate air pollution have not been equally distributed among populations in the U.S. Racial and ethnic minorities, particularly Black people, continue to experience disproportionately high rates of cardiovascular disease-related deaths due to exposure to fine particulate matter. These findings were published on August 31 in Nature Human Behavior.

Understanding Fine Particulate Matter

Fine particulate matter, also known as PM2.5, refers to particles or droplets smaller than 2.5 micrometers in diameter, which is 30 times smaller than the width of a human hair. While some PM2.5 in the environment comes from natural sources like wildfires, the majority of particulate matter pollution in the U.S. is caused by human activities such as vehicle emissions, power plants, and factories. The small size of PM2.5 makes it harmful to human health, as it can enter the lungs and even the bloodstream, affecting the heart and leading to cardiovascular diseases.

Study Findings

The researchers collected data on cardiovascular disease deaths and monthly PM2.5 concentrations across 3,103 counties in the contiguous U.S. between 2001 and 2016. They found that an increase of one microgram per square meter in average PM2.5 levels was associated with 2.01 additional cardiovascular disease-related deaths per 1 million people. However, when analyzing the data by race and ethnicity, they discovered that the human costs varied across different populations:

  • An increase in PM2.5 levels was associated with 1.76 additional deaths per 1 million white people.
  • An increase in PM2.5 levels was associated with 2.66 additional deaths per 1 million Hispanic people.
  • An increase in PM2.5 levels was associated with 7.16 additional deaths per 1 million Black people.

The study also assessed the mortality burden across race and ethnicity, revealing that on average, there were 202.70 deaths per 1 million white people, 279.24 deaths per 1 million Hispanic people, and 905.68 deaths per 1 million Black people each year due to long-term PM2.5 exposure between 2001 and 2016.

Implications for Policy Design

The findings highlight the disparities in the public health burden of air pollution among racial groups and emphasize the need for policy design that considers these differences. The researchers suggest that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), U.S. lawmakers, and local governments should not only focus on improving air quality for the overall population but also address the specific vulnerabilities of high-risk groups.

Addressing Inequalities

Dr. Kai Chen, the senior author of the study, will continue to investigate this health burden disparity in a new project funded by a Yale Planetary Solutions Project seed grant. The project aims to assess PM2.5 exposure, cardiovascular disease risk, and morbidity burden at the neighborhood level and develop location-specific strategies to address inequalities.

Reference

Ma Y, Zang E, Opara I, Lu Y, Krumholz HM, Chen K. Racial/ethnic disparities in PM2.5-attributable cardiovascular mortality burden in the United States. Nat Hum Behav. 2023. doi: 10.1038/s41562-023-01694-7

This article has been republished from the following materials. Note: material may have been edited for length and content. For further information, please contact the cited source.

SDGs, Targets, and Indicators

  1. SDG 3: Good Health and Well-being

    • Target 3.9: By 2030, substantially reduce the number of deaths and illnesses from hazardous chemicals and air, water, and soil pollution and contamination.
    • Indicator 3.9.1: Mortality rate attributed to household and ambient air pollution.
  2. SDG 10: Reduced Inequalities

    • Target 10.2: By 2030, empower and promote the social, economic, and political inclusion of all, irrespective of age, sex, disability, race, ethnicity, origin, religion, or economic or other status.
    • Indicator 10.2.1: Proportion of people living below 50 percent of median income, by age, sex, and persons with disabilities.
  3. SDG 13: Climate Action

    • Target 13.1: Strengthen resilience and adaptive capacity to climate-related hazards and natural disasters in all countries.
    • Indicator 13.1.1: Number of deaths, missing persons, and directly affected persons attributed to disasters per 100,000 population.

Table: SDGs, Targets, and Indicators

SDGs Targets Indicators
SDG 3: Good Health and Well-being Target 3.9: By 2030, substantially reduce the number of deaths and illnesses from hazardous chemicals and air, water, and soil pollution and contamination. Indicator 3.9.1: Mortality rate attributed to household and ambient air pollution.
SDG 10: Reduced Inequalities Target 10.2: By 2030, empower and promote the social, economic, and political inclusion of all, irrespective of age, sex, disability, race, ethnicity, origin, religion, or economic or other status. Indicator 10.2.1: Proportion of people living below 50 percent of median income, by age, sex, and persons with disabilities.
SDG 13: Climate Action Target 13.1: Strengthen resilience and adaptive capacity to climate-related hazards and natural disasters in all countries. Indicator 13.1.1: Number of deaths, missing persons, and directly affected persons attributed to disasters per 100,000 population.

Analysis

1. Which SDGs are addressed or connected to the issues highlighted in the article?

The issues highlighted in the article are connected to SDG 3: Good Health and Well-being, SDG 10: Reduced Inequalities, and SDG 13: Climate Action.

2. What specific targets under those SDGs can be identified based on the article’s content?

Based on the article’s content, the specific targets that can be identified are:

– Target 3.9: By 2030, substantially reduce the number of deaths and illnesses from hazardous chemicals and air, water, and soil pollution and contamination.

– Target 10.2: By 2030, empower and promote the social, economic, and political inclusion of all, irrespective of age, sex, disability, race, ethnicity, origin, religion, or economic or other status.

– Target 13.1: Strengthen resilience and adaptive capacity to climate-related hazards and natural disasters in all countries.

3. Are there any indicators mentioned or implied in the article that can be used to measure progress towards the identified targets?

Yes, there are indicators mentioned or implied in the article that can be used to measure progress towards the identified targets. The indicators are:

– Indicator 3.9.1: Mortality rate attributed to household and ambient air pollution.

– Indicator 10.2.1: Proportion of people living below 50 percent of median income, by age, sex, and persons with disabilities.

– Indicator 13.1.1: Number of deaths, missing persons, and directly affected persons attributed to disasters per 100,000 population.

These indicators can be used to measure progress towards reducing deaths and illnesses from air pollution, promoting social inclusion, and strengthening resilience to climate-related hazards.

The article specifically mentions the mortality rate attributed to air pollution (PM2.5) as a measure of health impact (Indicator 3.9.1). It also highlights the disparities in mortality rates across racial and ethnic groups, indicating the need to address inequalities (Target 10.2). Additionally, the article discusses the impact of air pollution on cardiovascular health and the need to strengthen resilience to climate-related hazards (Target 13.1).

4. Table: SDGs, Targets, and Indicators

SDGs Targets Indicators
SDG 3: Good Health and Well-being Target 3.9: By 2030, substantially reduce the number of deaths and illnesses from hazardous chemicals and air, water, and soil pollution and contamination. Indicator 3.9.1: Mortality rate attributed to household and ambient air pollution.
SDG 10: Reduced Inequalities Target 10.2: By 2030, empower and promote the social, economic, and political inclusion of all, irrespective of age, sex, disability, race, ethnicity, origin, religion, or economic or other status. Indicator 10.2.1: Proportion of people living below 50 percent of median income, by age, sex, and persons with disabilities.
SDG 13: Climate Action Target 13.1: Strengthen resilience and adaptive capacity to climate-related hazards and natural disasters in all countries. Indicator 13.

Behold! This splendid article springs forth from the wellspring of knowledge, shaped by a wondrous proprietary AI technology that delved into a vast ocean of data, illuminating the path towards the Sustainable Development Goals. Remember that all rights are reserved by SDG Investors LLC, empowering us to champion progress together.

Source: technologynetworks.com

 

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