‘Sacrifice zones’: How people of color are targets of environmental racism
The Black Lives Matter movement and the COVID-19 pandemic have highlighted how systemic racism disproportionately places danger and harm on low-income and minority populations.
One harsh reality of this systemic racism is the existence of “sacrifice zones,” which are communities located near pollution hot spots that have been permanently impaired by intensive and concentrated industrial activity, such as factories, chemical plants, power plants, oil and gas refineries, landfills and factory farms.
Toxic PAH air pollutants from fossil fuels ‘multiply’ in sunlight
When power stations burn coal, a class of compounds called Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons, or PAHs, form part of the resulting air pollution. Researchers have found that PAHs toxins degrade in sunlight into ‘children’ compounds and by-products.
Some ‘children’ compounds can be more toxic than the ‘parent’ PAHs. Rivers and dams affected by PAHs are likely contaminated by a much larger number of toxins than are emitted by major polluters, researchers show in Chemosphere.
Younos: Imperatives in water management, 2021-2030
We’ve just entered the third decade of the 21st century and it’s an appropriate time to make our new decade resolutions. What problems we want and need to address, and what do we want to achieve and accomplish?
To move forward, first we need to look back and remind ourselves why we are here and how we got here. Our thinking and values have evolved over time – decades and sometimes generations.
The 18th century Industrial Revolution resulted in the emergence of high-population urban centers and an agricultural sector which demanded more water and energy.