Environmental injustice appears to be alive and well in Los Angeles County, according to a study released today by the University of California at Los Angeles, which found that neighborhoods near major pollution sources are disproportionately low-income and Latino. Latinos make up 44 percent of the county population but 60 percent of residents living near toxic plants, and housing values near such plants were 20 percent lower than the county median. L.A. County’s biggest polluters include ExxonMobil, Chevron, and Dow Chemical, which together produced over 2.3 million pounds of chemicals in 1998. Residents living near these and other toxic sites are exposed to high concentrations of chemicals that can cause cancer, respiratory disease, and reproductive difficulties.
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