A healthy environment increases your quality of life and longevity. Many assume the air they breathe is clean and free from toxins since most air pollutants in North Carolina are invisible. But while we cannot see these pollutants, breathing them in can seriously endanger your health and prevent you from living your best. To reduce these hazards, we must first understand the source of air pollution in North Carolina. We find our dirty air is linked to energy and industrial facilities, cars and trucks, and construction.
Not everyone is at equal risk to the harm air pollution can cause. Some existing health threats will intensify, and new health threats will emerge. People of color, and people in low-income communities, experience increased rates of adverse health impacts from climate change and air pollution due to a long history of environmental racism and the resulting health disparities. That’s why we work with neighborhoods most at risk to make a lasting change for future generations.
Check out our interactive Story Map to learn how community residents are using citizen science to take on air pollution challenges in Charlotte’s Historic West End!