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More NC Residents See Link Between Pollution, Health

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Tuesday, September 6, 2022   

Cancer, stroke and heart disease are among the leading causes of death for North Carolina residents, and mounting evidence shows these and other chronic conditions can be worsened by air pollution.

Medical professionals will connect the dots on the link between air pollution and health at two free events being held for community members on Sept. 13 and 24, as part of CleanAIRE NC's Healthy Air Education Series.

Kirsten Minor, health manager for CleanAIRE NC, said she hopes the series will give residents the information they need to advocate for better policies and hold polluters accountable.

"I want community members to be aware of that, and not just be aware of it," Minor explained. "We want people to know what are ways in which they can protect themselves and improve their health through tangible actions that they can take."

One study by ProPublica found increased rates of cancer among North Carolina residents living in 33 regions deemed to be air pollution "hot spots."

Minor anticipates the series will be an ongoing collaboration between the Mecklenburg County Health Department, local physicians and community members of the West End, a historically Black neighborhood located near factories, waste sites and other potent pollution sources.

"Even though it's focusing on the historic West End green districts, we want to invite all communities or individuals coming from a community that is disproportionately impacted by air pollution," Minor emphasized.

Recent research found people of color, regardless of income, are more likely to be exposed to particulate-matter air pollution known as PM 2.5.

Disclosure: CleanAIRE NC contributes to our fund for reporting on Climate Change/Air Quality, Energy Policy, Environment, and Environmental Justice. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.


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