Tuesday, April 29, 2014 • 4:30 AM Comments ()

Clear the Air

posted by Maureen Turner

"This is how racist your air is,” reads the headline of a recent piece on Mother Jones' website.

The story addresses a recent study by University of Minnesota researchers that found that “different demographic groups are exposed to drastically different amounts of air pollution each year.” Specifically, the report looked at nitrogen dioxide, found largely in vehicle and power plant emissions. It found that “people of color are exposed to 46 percent more NO2 than white people,” Mother Jones reports.

The report also lists the “most unjust dozen,” the 12 U.S. cities with the greatest race-based disparities in NO2 exposure. Springfield made the list. (So did Worcester, Providence, and Danbury and Bridgeport/Stamford, Conn.)

While the report is new, the problem of poor air quality isn’t news to public-health professionals and activists in Springfield. Tomorrow, the Mass. Senior Action Council will hold a meeting on the effects of air pollution in the city and ways to address it. The meeting takes place on Wednesday, April 30, at 1 p.m. at the Springfield Hobby Club at 309 Chestnut St., and will include talks by Michaelann Bewsee of Arise for Social Justice and Sarita Hudson of Partners for a Healthier Community.

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