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Environmental Injustice - Research Paper Example

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no. Date Dumping of toxic wastes as a form of environmental injustice The need for environmental conservation and the dangers brought about by lack of environmental sustainability is a major global concern. In particular, the state of the environment in the United States is worrying, considering the numerous injustices that threaten the sustainability of the environment…
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Environmental Injustice
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Download file to see previous pages Environmental injustice can be termed as the unequal distribution of hazardous substances in the environment and the inequitable implementation of environmental laws. For decades, minority groups in the United States have always grappled with racially-based environmental injustices. Numerous reports and case studies have pointed out that the United States government is biased in its implementation of environmental laws and policies, particularly in connection with the disposal of toxic wastes. This report seeks to examine the relevance of inappropriate dumping of toxic wastes as an environmental injustice in the United States. Who is most affected by the dumping of toxic wastes in the United States? According to Massey, the government deliberately targets colored people in the construction of waste facilities and sanctioning of poisons and pollutants in areas occupied by people-of-color, such as Alabama, Texas, and South Carolina, among others (5). Industries in the United States produce high volumes of hazardous wastes, and due to their hazardous nature, these wastes should be disposed in storage and treatment facilities. However, these materials still have the capacity to affect nearby residents, especially in case of explosions, leaks, and accidents brought about by ineffective management policies by the government. As such, Bullard, Mohai, Saha & Wright state that most residents, particularly those with political, legal, economic, and technical power usually oppose the erection of such facilities in their locale (50). Unfortunately, people-of-color do not have such powers thus it is common to find these facilities in the communities occupied by colored people. It is, thus correct to allude that the tendency to construct waste management facilities in areas inhabited by people-of-color is a racial environment injustice. According to Kibert, the government analyses the risk of putting up waste management facilities in an area, by calculating the number of “acceptable” deaths that can be caused by exposure (172). It, therefore, begs the question whether it is more acceptable for colored people in the United States to die of exposure, considering that these facilities are mostly constructed in their locale. Effects of dumping toxic wastes near human populations In analyzing the effects that toxic wastes have on people who are exposed to these wastes, it is important to understand that “toxicity” is determined by the chronic effect that a substance can have on human health. People living in close proximity to facilities designated for the dumping of toxic wastes suffer from numerous health-related problems, occasioned by exposure to these wastes. For such communities, therefore, exposure to toxic substances leads to decline in health, which then translates to high mortality rates in the said populations. This means that there is a large discrepancy between the mortality rates of white American and colored Americans in as far as deaths related to toxic wastes exposure are concerned. One of the most dangerous effects of toxic waste contamination from Trichloroethylene (TCE), which according to Bullard ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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