Toxic Wastes More Likely To Be Near Latinos and Asians, SoCal Study Finds

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A New UC Irvine (UCI) study found that Latinos and Asians in Southern California are disproportionately exposed to toxic waste sites.

Looking at 3000 census tracts in six heavily populated, ethnically diverse Southern California counties between 1990 and 2000, researchers found that neighborhoods with a higher percentage of Latinos or Asians were more likely to be near toxic waste sites than those populated by more whites or African-Americans.

Using a number of statiscal tools, According to the study those census tracts with 15 percent more Latinos than an average tract were exposed to 84.3 percent more toxic waste. Tracts with 15 percent more Asians were exposed to 33.7 percent more toxic waste.

The study’s lead author, John Hipp, UCI associate professor, speculated that the “education and awareness may factor in here, since immigrants may not know of the risks involved in living near toxic waste sites or may come from places where pollution from such sites is a lot worse,” The study further suggested that more education and outreach needs to be done to Latinos and Asians about such envirionmental issues.

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