Thanks to breaking news in yesterday’s Delaware County Daily Times, I learned that black folks are more exposed to air pollution than white folks.

The Associated Press article notes…

non-white people were exposed to potentially hazardous fine particle pollution from nearly all major U.S. emission sources … and also found that Blacks were the only group disproportionately exposed to each of the pollution sources examined.

You’d think every effort would be made to reduce the impact of air pollution on black people at every turn, but recent events in Chester indicate that as long as polluters are labeled as good business partners, they are encourage to stick around.

Past research shows associations between exposure to particulate matter and health problems such as premature death in people with heart or lung disease, heart attacks, irregular heartbeat and asthma.

Diesel engines spew a lot of particulate matter. Chester welcomes 400 or more diesel trucks making round trips almost everyday coupled with a major highway slicing end-to-end through the city. Add to that a number of industries up and down the Delaware river depositing particulates of all sorts down on us when the wind blows our way. Those little particulate things add up fast. Any effort to eliminate a source of air pollution who can relocate somewhere else or has viable alternatives of operation should be encouraged to find a home away from here.

President Joe Biden convened a summit of world leaders to shape policy to protect vulnerable communities like the ones disproportionately exposed to air pollution. If I could get a word in with the President, I’d love for him to convene a summit of local leaders right here in Chester. We could use his guidance.

Here’s the link to the study, published Wednesday in the journal Science Advances.