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Latino Communities at Risk: The Impact of Air Pollution from the Oil and Gas Industry

The oil and gas industry dumps 9 million tons of methane and toxic pollutants like benzene into our air each year.

Methane is a greenhouse gas 87 times more potent than carbon dioxide at driving climate change and the oil and gas industry is now the largest source of methane in the U.S. But methane is just one harmful air pollutant from the oil and gas industry. As we recently demonstrated in the “Fossil Fumes” report, many of these toxic pollutants are linked to increased risk of cancer and respiratory disorders in dozens of counties that exceed U.S. EPA’s level of concern. These pollutants from the oil and gas supply chain also contribute to the ozone smog pollution that blankets the U.S. in the warmer months. Our recent “Gasping for Breath” report found that ozone smog from oil and gas industry pollution is associated with 750,000 summertime asthma attacks in children and 500,000 missed school days. Among adults, this pollution results in 2,000 asthma related emergency room visits and 600 hospital admissions and 1.5 million reduced activity days.

This report sheds light on the health impacts of air pollutants from the oil and gas industry that specifically threaten the health of Latino communities living near oil and gas facilities and in areas far from oil and gas production.

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