Diesel and Social Justice

Excerpt from OEC’s Report, The Dirt on Diesel, May 2016.

A 2011 study of Portland air toxics, using models and data from ve air monitors placed in 2005, found that the entire Portland metro area experiences diesel pollution above the state’s health benchmark.

But the study also found that the ten lowest income and ten highest minority census block groups experience more exposure to all sources of air toxics than the average block group.

In Multnomah County, census tracts with higher than average Black/African American, Asian/ Pacific Islander and/or Latino residents have two to three times more exposure to diesel particulate matter than census tracts with 90% or more non-Latino white populations.

In communities everywhere, people of color and low-income communities are often located at the margins of urban areas: near busy roads and highways, rail lines and ports, business and industrial facilities.

HOT SPOTS AT HOME

High social stress, inadequate housing and less access to fresh food and health care makes people more vulnerable to harm from pollutants like diesel. Some research suggests that simply living in a low-income community is enough to raise risk of health harm.

Studies in Sweden31 and the U.S. found higher incidence of heart disease among people in low-income neighborhoods, regardless of the education, occupation or personal income of those individuals.

Communities of color experience unique health disparities. African Americans have the highest prevalence of asthma, heart disease and lung cancer. American Indians/Alaskan Natives have a higher prevalence of asthma than do non- Latino whites. Incidence of asthma and heart disease are high among Pacific Islanders.

Greater vulnerability—with greater exposure to pollutants—may lead to higher rates of disease in low-income populations that is associated with diesel pollution. In Oregon, both asthma and heart disease are more prevalent in low- income households. Nationwide, cancer rates and cancer deaths are higher among low- income individuals.

HOT SPOTS ON THE JOB

Workers are particularly at risk for health impacts from diesel engine exhaust. For example, a study of truckers with 35 years
on the job found that they were 89% more likely than the general public to contract lung cancer. More than 30 epidemiological studies of those who work on railroads, docks, and construction sites, in trucks or buses, or as diesel mechanics found that people who are routinely exposed to diesel exhaust have a greater risk of lung cancer. In Oregon, that accounts for 29,000 people in the work force.

HOT SPOTS ON THE ROAD

The highway network is also a moving “hot spot” for those who spend signi cant time commuting or traveling on busy roadways. A 2007 study by the Clean Air Task Force found diesel particle levels four to eight times higher inside cars, buses and trains than in the ambient outdoor air.


For more information, go to: oeconline.org/diesel

Read OEC’s Report, The Dirt on Diesel, May 2016.

Related Posts
Filter by
Post Page
Policy Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Featured OEC News/Updates/Events Climate Protection Toxics-Free Environments Air Quality Toxic Free Priorities Living Green
Sort by

A migrant’s story of environmental justice

Guest blog by Giselle Lopez Ixta Every morning feels too painful to wake up. I’m scared to hear about another death, another racist incident, another deportation, a family separation, and of politics. I am a migrant queer xicana. I was born in Apatzingan, Michoacán, Mexico. When I was five years old, I arrived in Woodburn where my parents had been farmworkers. When I was ten years old, I received my citizenship, even as my mother was deported for ten years. In summer 20
October 19, 2016, 1:30 pm
admin

9

Recap: Messages from Oregon’s Environmental Justice and Equity Leaders

By Rob Nathan, Director of Digital Engagement, NW Earth Institute,     CoChair for
November 21, 2015, 6:21 pm
admin

9

Climate Stability and Justice Needed for Oregon: A review of HB 3470 and looking forward

During the 2015 legislative session, Oregon Environmental Council was proud to join with environmental, health, communities of color and business partners concerned about climate pollution to help advance the Climate Stability and Justice Act (HB 3470). The Act would enforce Oregon’s existing limits on climate pollution with a firm timeline for putting a comprehensive action plan in place to guarantee Oregon achieves its climate goals. This creates certainty for both businesses and the
July 17, 2015, 5:49 pm
janag

9

Diesel pollution and health

Diesel exhaust is costing Oregon billions of dollars each year in health care costs, lost lives and missed work and school. “In pediatrics, we want to prevent kids from getting sick. We are asking parents to take individual action. But there’s nothing we can do to get them to prevent exposing their kids to air pollution. It’s only good public policy that can help protect kids in that way.” — Dr. Paul Lewis, MD, MPH; Tri-County Health Officer Diesel exhau
February 7, 2019, 10:00 pm
jenc

0

Diesel and air quality

Why do we need to act now to reduce diesel pollution from heavy-duty engines? Because it’s not only one of Oregon’s biggest air quality problems—it contributes to all of them.  According to the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality’s 2017 Air Quality annual report, Oregon’s “air pollutants of greatest concern” are:
February 7, 2019, 8:19 pm
jenc

0

2019: Time to clean up diesel

2019 is the time to invest in a cleaner, healthier future for all Oregonians Diesel
February 7, 2019, 7:43 pm
admin

0

New report: Oregon fails on diesel

This month, Oregon’s cross-agency team of experts made it very clear: None of our current efforts to reduce diesel pollution have worked, or will work, to meet our state’s goals for protecting human and environmental health. “Diesel emissions impacts to human health and the environment are not being adequately addressed by the DEQ [Department of Environmental Quality] or through Toxics Reduction Strategy planning.” This matter-of-fact statement, and details about Orego
January 30, 2019, 6:21 pm
jenc

0

Decades of diesel

Oregon’s path to clearing the air of diesel pollution is a long one, but 2019 is the year to get serious about solutions. Check out our timeline for the policies—and missed deadlines—that have led us to this moment of change. 
January 14, 2019, 3:28 pm
jenc

0

Salem Diesel Awareness Project

November 14, 2018, 11:38 pm
admin

0

Videos: Why Oregon should ditch dirty diesel

 At a hearing before the Oregon state Senate Environment and Natural Resources committee in 2017, Dr. Perry Hystad, Epidemiologist, OSU, describes the emerging science that suggests a link between dementia and people who live near major sources of diesel pollution.
March 14, 2017, 11:37 pm
amyl

0


No Replies to "Diesel and Social Justice"


    Got something to say?

    Some html is OK