Research shows ultrafine air pollution reflects Seattle's redlining history
A study conducted by the University of Washington reveals that concentrations of ultrafine particles, a type of air pollutant, in Seattle reflect the city's historical racial and economic divisions. The study, published in Environmental Health Perspectives, used mobile monitoring to measure the long-term average levels of four pollutants: black carbon, fine particles, nitrogen dioxide, and ultrafine particles. It found that areas with lower median household incomes and higher proportions of Black populations had higher concentrations of all four pollutants, with ultrafine particles showing the greatest disparities. The study also revealed that the disparities in air pollution align with Seattle's history of redlining, a practice that segregated neighborhoods and denied racial minorities access to wealth-building opportunities. The findings highlight the environmental racism and health impacts faced by marginalized communities due to air pollution disparities.