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Sacoby Wilson describes community "sacrifice zones" in Wired

COVID impact on areas of high particulate concentrations is greater

Sidney Fussell writes in Wired, "Air is political. Research indicates race is the biggest predictor of whether a person lives near a heavily polluted area. Covid-19 is especially lethal for patients with respiratory problems." Research cited in the story finds that the incidence of Covid-19 is greater in some black communities where air pollution is greater.

“These communities are being sacrificed to the benefits of other communities,” says Faculty Associate Sacoby Wilson. “They do not have to live with the petrochemical operations, the oil factories, the incinerators or paper mills.”

Sacrifice zones are not exclusive to nonwhite communities Fussell writes. The defining factor of a sacrifice zone is an exploitive dynamic where industrial pollution is driven into a neighborhood, but the energy or economic benefits generated go elsewhere. “Your community is dehumanized,” Wilson explains, “but at the same time it becomes a commodity.”

See the entire story in Wired