East Boston air pollution
Our planet is warming due to our increased use of fossil fuels. Emissions from air travel make up a large part of our global emissions that are contributing to climate change. We only have a short time to make big changes until the damage to our planet is so great that we can no longer control the outcomes.
Jet fuel contains ultrafine particulates, pollution particles so small that they enter the lungs and pass the blood barrier. This can harm not only our respiratory and cardiovascular systems but can have damaging effects on the developing organs of children as well as pregnant women, sometimes resulting in premature birth.
Inhaling toxins generated by airports and roadway congestion can have major effects on the health and development of East Boston kids. Children in heavily polluted areas of East Boston are:
- 3-4 times more likely to experience symptoms of asthma than children in other neighborhoods
- 2x as likely to experience COPD (chronic obtrusive pulmonary disease)
- More likely to experience negative impacts on development and school performance
Air pollution disproportionately affects people of color:
- 68% of Latinos live in areas that do not meet federal air quality standards compared to 58% of whites.
- African-American children have the highest prevalence of asthma.
- Latinos on average breathe in 63 percent more of the pollution than they make. For African-Americans the figure is 56 percent. Non-Latino whites on average are exposed to 17 percent less air pollution than they make.
Hear how air pollution affects members of East Boston in this Community Audio Story.
East Boston saw the highest COVID rates in the city of Boston. Increased exposure to ultrafine particulate pollution matter has led to a large increase in COVID-19 death rates.
A solution: HEPA air purifiers
Mothers Out Front East Boston is tackling these issues head on with real solutions. Our campaign calls upon Massport to provide HEPA air filters to our community, beginning with our public schools. Austin Air HEPA filters remove 75-82% of ultrafine pollution particles, and can also remove the COVID-19 virus from the air. We also support a number of initiatives to protect and grow our trees, nature’s outdoor air filters.