Photo: Half of Latinos Live Near Unhealthy Air
A major report to be released tomorrow, Tuesday, September 20, 2011, will show that one out of two Hispanic Americans faces serious health risks due to living in counties that frequently violate air quality standards.
In response, leading Latino organizations are urging Latinos everywhere to sign on to a major campaign urging elected officials to pledge to take action to protect and strengthen the federal Clean Air Act, which is currently under fire in some quarters in Congress.
The new report is co-authored by the Natural Resources Defense Council, the National Latino Coalition on Climate Change, the Center for American Progress and the National Wildlife Federation. Problem areas highlighted in the report are major markets that are home to large numbers of Latinos in Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Illinois, Massachusetts, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, and Texas, among other states.
More than 23 million Latino children, grandparents, siblings, and friends consistently face a higher risk of asthma, bronchitis, and even death from air pollution. As of 2008, 4.7 million Hispanics had been diagnosed with asthma in their lifetime. Latinos are three times more likely to die from asthma than other racial or ethnic groups.
The growing U.S. Latino population, including millions who are uninsured, faces special pollution-related burdens arising from the additional unforeseen costs that come from asthma attacks, medication, hospitalizations and lost work days.