Healthy Indoors Magazine - USA Edition

HI August 2022 - USA Edition

Healthy Indoors Magazine

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Page 46 of 48

Healthy Indoors | 45 Petrochemical production facilities are disproportionately located in poor communities and communities of color because of decades of racial discrim- ination in housing and financial ser- vices. In majority-Black census tracts, the estimated risk of cancer from toxic air emissions is more than twice the risk found in majority-white tracts, making petrochemical pollution a clear example of environmental racism. Un- fortunately, the petrochemical industry is booming across the country, with an especially heavy presence in the Gulf Coast, and a growing number of pet- rochemical facilities arising in the Ohio River Valley. For parents, awareness of the true harms of petrochemicals and plastics may be especially painful. When we're strapped for time and money, the con- venience that saves our sanity is often wrapped in single-use plastics, like single-serving granola bars and eas- ily disposable diapers. Knowing that the plastic that's embedded into our everyday lives is contributing to harm- ful pollution and climate destruction is excruciating, adding to the burden of impossible trade-offs we make every day. Holding this knowledge with com- passion for ourselves is key to building the courage we need to hold petro- chemicals companies accountable for creating this plastic mess. We must hold petrochemical com- panies accountable and demand that EPA and other government agencies rein in toxic pollution from the produc- tion of plastics. This is a big-system problem that requires big-system ac- tion to fix. But we can also find ways to reduce our dependence on plastic in our everyday lives, such as the nu- merous ideas suggested in the book Things You Can Do. The plastic prob- lem might feel overwhelming, and we are not powerless. To learn more about petrochem- icals and our health, and how you can take action on this important issue, please read our new fact sheet, PETROCHEMICAL POLLU- TION AND OUR HEALTH. Moms Clean Air Force is grateful to Cynthia Palmer for her research and writing on the petrochemical crisis. Elizabeth Bechard is Senior Policy Analyst for Moms Clean Air Force. She is also a health coach, author, former clinical research coordinator, and a public health graduate student at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. TELL CONGRESS: SUPPORT THE BREAK FREE FROM PLASTIC POLLUTION ACT

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