It's becoming increasingly harder for the poor to breathe due to nearby coal plants, a study released this week states.
Low-income communities are disproportionately affected by health-threatening pollution from coal-fired power plants in Illinois and other Midwestern states, a report by the NAACP says.
People living within 3 miles of a coal plant are more likely to inhale pollutants that cause respiratory problems such as asthma, researchers said. They also said people living within 3 miles of a coal plant are disproportionately low-income and minorities.
"It's important not just to be shutting down coal plants but to be shutting down coal plants that impact low-income communities and communities with people of color," said Adrian Wilson, the report's lead researcher and a doctoral student at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst.
"All too often the burden of this health threatening pollution falls disproportionately on people who live in poorer communities," said Jack Darin, director of the Sierra Club, Illinois chapter, who wasn't involved in the study.