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West Oakland: Pollution Hotspot and Environmental Racism

According to the San Francisco Gate, West Oakland, located next to San Francisco’s busiest port and trapped in between two major highways, has escaped the eye of the media and continues to be one of the most polluted cities in America. Diesel-fuel ships, diesel trucks, illegal dumping, and the ramifications of the industrialized area add to the pollution of West Oakland’s dirty air. The West Oakland community is trying to deal with the pollution problem, but the predominately poor African American population already face problems with education, healthcare, and now pollution. One report observed the socioeconomic issues of the poor African American community that play into the environmental racism. With the rise in pollution, children living in West Oakland are seven times more likely to get asthma than any other child in the state.  New health reports show staggering numbers of children in the community are at a 20%  increase for asthma cases and as high as 37% in adults. Local activists are trying to work with the local government to implement new standards.  Unfortunately, due to the environmental racism that has developed their efforts and ideas are currently yielding little progress.

Student Researchers: Claire Apatoff, Erin Kielty, Tom Rich

Faculty Evaluator: Jim Mills, Professor of Geosciences

Faculty Instructor: Kevin Howley

DePauw University

Uneasy Breathing — Air Pollution in Oakland

- The San Francisco Gate

West Oakland Residents Choking on Toxic Diesel Exhaust

Pacific Institutue

Port of Oakland’s Pollution Problem

Adventures in Urban Living

West Oakland Neighbors Tackle Toxic Legacy

Toxic Tour Blog: Inside West Oakland’s ‘Breathmobile’

Ship Pollution Escapes Oakland Diesel Debate

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