One out of every three Americans reside in regions with hazardous air pollution.


Impact of Pollution on Communities of Color: A Call for Action to Address Asthma Crisis

Residents in Newark’s predominantly Black South Ward have long been grappling with the devastating effects of air pollution, as highlighted by a recent report that has shed light on the concerning prevalence of asthma in the area.

For individuals like Gaddy, an African American mother who tragically lost her eldest child to a heart attack at the young age of 32, the report’s findings come as no surprise. Gaddy and her three remaining children all suffer from asthma, a condition that has plagued their family for years.

“It’s just the cumulative impacts of pollution is what is harming us,” Gaddy lamented. “And so, unfortunately, that’s what happens in our city.”

According to the report, the New York/Newark metropolitan area is home to 1.8 million adults and 370,000 children dealing with asthma. In an effort to address this pressing issue, researchers and environmental advocates are pinning their hopes on the implementation of new auto emissions standards proposed by the Biden administration.

The proposed standards aim to significantly reduce particle pollution by pushing for a transition to electric vehicles and more environmentally friendly car options by 2032. Advocates are urging federal officials to take immediate action to combat the asthma crisis affecting communities like Gaddy’s in Newark.

Despite the challenges they face, Gaddy remains optimistic that her community will eventually receive the support and resources needed to combat the adverse effects of air pollution.

“We know that eventually, our communities will be healed and restored to the level that they should be,” Gaddy affirmed. “And that just because of our zip code or the color of our skin, our communities won’t continue to be these sacrifice zones.”

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