A new study by Harvard researchers finds that communities of color are more exposed to per- and polyfluorinated substances, the toxic “forever chemicals” colloquially known as PFAS. These chemicals used in industrial facilities, military fire training areas, airports and waste facilities have been linked to cancer and other illnesses. The study published in the journal Environmental Science & Technology, examined over 44,000 water samples from nearly 8,000 communities across 18 states and found that Black and brown people face significantly greater odds of receiving water contaminated with PFAS compared to white communities.
It’s the first peer reviewed study to examine the relationship between PFAS contamination and risk in communities of color. Lead author Jahred Liddie told Grist, “We know that there’s the forces of discrimination, segregation that kind of shape how pollution around the U.S. is patterned.” Historic redlining cited industrial sites that are often the source of PFAS and other pollution near communities of color. (Grist, Axios, Phys.org)