"U.S. Minorities Exposed To More Toxic Air, U Finds"

"Cutting nitrogen dioxide levels for people of color could prevent thousands of deaths, Minnesota researchers said."

"Minorities across the country are exposed to more of a dangerous air pollutant than whites, resulting in thousands of preventable deaths due to heart disease, according to a University of Minnesota study.

The study, published Tuesday in the journal PLOS ONE, found that nonwhites are exposed to 38 percent more nitrogen dioxide, one of six air pollutants for which the Environmental Protection Agency has caps and requires monitoring by states, than whites. The study is the first to look nationally at this air pollution disparity in such detail, comparing demographic data from the U.S. census to a nitrogen dioxide data set developed at the U.

Minnesota’s state health commissioner, Dr. Edward Ehlinger, called the finding “disturbing” but said it wasn’t surprising. “While we have on average a very healthy state,” he said, “when you’re dealing with populations of color, we see that some are structurally disadvantaged in our state.”

Breathing nitrogen dioxide is linked to asthma symptoms and heart disease. Cars, trucks and power plants are its largest sources."
Rebecca Harrington reports for the Minneapolis Star Tribune April 15, 2014.

Source: Minneapolis Star Tribune, 04/16/2014