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By Maya Richard-Craven, Word in Black

Plastic pollution damages the environment and health (Pexels)


A 2019 report from the Global Alliance for Incinerator Alternatives revealed that people of color are more likely to be impacted by plastic pollution. That’s because 79% of incinerators are in communities of color, and inhaling burned plastic can be deadly. 

Desiree McGill, a 24-year-old San Francisco-based climate content creator tells Word In Black thatl, “plastic pollution leads to a range of health problems, including respiratory issues, cancer, and disruptions in the endocrine system.” 

Indeed, Black people are 37% more likely to have lung cancer than other groups, and Black children have higher rates of asthma than white children. 

“Black communities may be at a heightened risk because they are more likely to experience the combined impacts of exposure to plastic pollutants and other environmental stressors,” McGill says.

Racial segregration also contributes to the problem.

“Incinerators, landfills, and factories are more often not put into Black neighborhoods. It’s not in my backyard type of mentality that affluent neighborhoods tend to have,” says non-profit director and climate justice activist Ayia Lindquist. 

Discover what one woman is doing to combat plastic pollutants.

Read about how where you live impacts your health.

More breaking news here.

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