Asthma and cancer from oil and gas

A new report by US researchers reports serious health effects on people of color caused by oil and gas installations located near residential areas, linking pollutant emissions to high levels of cancer and asthma, especially in African-American neighborhoods.
A report released this week says that people living in such areas are heavily affected by pollution from nearby industrial sites. As a result of these emissions, residents have serious health problems. More than a million African Americans in the US are estimated to live within half a mile of natural gas facilities, and many communities face increased risk of emissions-related cancer and asthma. The oil and gas industry releases nine million tons of methane and other pollutants into the atmosphere every year. Methane contributes to climate change at a rate that is eighty-seven times faster than carbon dioxide, the main greenhouse gas contributing to climate change. Across the country, there are existing or under development oil and gas facilities in ninety-one counties, more than 6.7 million African Americans, or 14% of the nation’s population, live in these areas. Louisiana and Texas have the largest African American populations living in areas at increased risk of asthma and cancer from pollutants, with about nine hundred thousand people living near oil and gas facilities. However, the report notes that communities in several other states are also at risk, as pollutants can travel many kilometers, creating dangerous smog.

event_note March 31, 2022

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