Morello-Frosch's research on segregation and pollution featured in New York Times
Over the past decade, more researchers have focused on the correlation between segregation and broad pollution exposure. Residents of a city like Memphis, they have found, are exposed to more pollution than those living in a city like Tampa, Fla., which is less racially divided.
“Even though white residents in segregated cities were better off than residents of color in those segregated cities, those white residents were worse off than their white counterparts in less segregated cities,” said Rachel Morello-Frosch, a professor of environmental health at the University of California, Berkeley.
Studies have found this relationship between segregation and air pollution, water pollution and even noise pollution. A large body of literature shows that high exposure to certain pollution can cause asthma, heart disease and many other negative health effects.
“It’s so much pollution that it led not only to very high exposure to minorities but it actually bounces back to at least some whites,” said Michael Ash, a professor of economics at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and an author of a study that looked at the impact of segregationon pollution levels.