Pollution, Poverty and People of Color: Children at Risk
Itâ€™s long been known that children in poorer neighborhoods are more likely to be exposed to lead, industrial emissions, vehicle exhaust and other contaminants. Now, scientists are beginning to suspect that low-income children arenâ€™t just more exposed â€“ they actually may be more biologically susceptible to them, even at low levels.
A growing body of research suggests that the chronic stressors of poverty may fundamentally alter the way the body reacts to pollutants, especially in young children. Several studies have found that such stress may exacerbate the effects of lead on childrenâ€™s developing brains, while others reported more asthma symptoms in kids with simultaneous exposure to air pollution and socioeconomic problems.