Links Between Air Pollution, Environmental Justice, and Children’s Health


The Safe Routes Partnership attended the Children's Environmental Health Symposium, put on by the Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment. Several compelling presenters lifted up research studies from across the globe and California on the impact of air pollution on children. The evidence was clear: Children, especially children of color and low income children, bear the brunt of climate change impacts. Many of the presenters called for better policy changes. Especially compelling was Dr. Frederica Perera, who lifted up solutions to reduce pollution, including zero emission trucks/automobiles and walking/biking networks. Particularly relevant to the Safe Routes Partnership’s work was that of Dr. Maria Harris. Dr. Harris works with the Environmental Defense Fund and studied the effects of emissions exposure on children who attend schools in close proximity to freeways. The disproportionate exposure of low-income and kids of color to toxic air pollution is concerning to us and led us to work with environmental justice groups to strategize policy solutions to address disparities in Southern California. Earlier this month we released a case study entitled, Large Trucks, Little Children.  The case study examines efforts to address air pollution in San Bernardino County, particularly schools affected by large freight truck emissions.  

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Safe Routes to School in California