Tue. May 28th, 2024

Americans are way more freaked out about breathing in pollution than any other group: New Study

Jamie Roberts By Jamie Roberts May20,2024

More Black Americans are concerned about their local exposure to air pollution than other racial or ethnic groups, a new survey found.

Gallup’s survey found 53 percent of Black adults are “very” or “fairly” concerned about exposure to four types of environmental pollution or contamination in their communities.

Forty-six percent of Hispanic adults and 35 percent of white adults said the same.

Black Americans also report higher numbers of being concerned about contaminated drinking water. At 46 percent, Black respondents’ concern is 20 percentage points higher than white Americans.

Thirty-nine percent of Black adults are concerned about toxic building materials in their communities, compared to the national average of 25 percent. Similarly, 42 percent of Black adults are concerned about land and soil contamination, compared to 37 percent of Hispanic adults and 26 percent of white adults.

Generally, the survey found that adults living in urban areas are more likely to express concern about exposure to local pollution threats compared to people living in rural or suburban areas.

Gallup noted that racial differences in the survey are not because minority populations are more likely to live in urban areas.

“While concerns about exposure to environmental pollution and contamination are similar by race/ethnicity among Americans living in urban centers, they diverge among Americans of different racial/ethnic backgrounds living in towns, suburbs and rural areas.”

Minorities of all backgrounds report higher levels of concern than white people, and Black Americans report the highest level of concern in communities like the suburbs and small towns.

Black Americans also reported an incident of pollution exposure within the last five years at a higher rate than both Hispanic and white Americans.

Black Americans were about twice as likely as white Americans to say they have had to relocated temporarily due to harmful pollution or contamination in their community within the last year, the survey found.

“The latest findings from the Gallup Center on Black Voices indicate that environmental pollution and contamination are displacing a substantial number of Black Americans,” researchers wrote.

According to the report, the Environmental Protection Agency has noted that due to “historical conditions such as segregation and redlining,” Black Americans are more likely to be exposed to polluted environments.

The survey was conducted July 26-Aug. 10 among 12,684 U.S. adults. It has a margin of error of 1.7 percentage points.

Jamie Roberts

By Jamie Roberts

Jamie is an award-winning investigative journalist with a focus on uncovering corruption and advocating for social justice. With over a decade of experience in the field, Jamie's work has been instrumental in bringing about positive change in various communities.

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2 thoughts on “Americans are way more freaked out about breathing in pollution than any other group: New Study”
  1. As a Black American, I can confirm that the findings of this survey resonate with my own concerns. It’s disheartening to see that the disparities in exposure to pollution and contamination are still prevalent among different racial groups. The higher levels of concern among Black Americans highlight the urgent need for policies and actions to address environmental injustices in our communities.

  2. Why do Black Americans show higher levels of concern about pollution compared to other racial or ethnic groups?

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