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Study: Racism is 'hidden toll' of firework celebrations; one expert suggests face masks are a solution

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Woke environmental scientists have identified a new source of racism that discriminates against people of color and marginalized communities: the pollution from fireworks.

Such pollution is "the hidden toll" of celebrating Independence Day with fireworks, according to National Geographic.

What are the details?

Scientists who published a new study in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health tested air pollution levels in California during Independence Day celebrations in 2019 and 2020.

They discovered the short-term pollution released by fireworks is similar to air pollution caused by wildfires. The study claimed pollutant levels during firework celebrations were highest in communities of "lower [socioeconomic status], higher minority group populations," and claimed "disparities were greatest" in "disadvantaged communities."

The apparent problem with the pollution, as National Geographic explained, is that fireworks allegedly create an increased "health risk for communities already disproportionately burdened by air pollution: Urban ones with higher rates of asthma, more older residents, and a greater percentage of children under 10. These areas also tended to have more Black and Hispanic residents than those with less Fourth of July air pollution."

The results of the study "underscor[e] the importance of environmental justice and education about the hazardous effects of short-term household and city-permitted firework displays," the scientists concluded.

Jun Wu, a professor of public health at UC-Irvine who co-authored the study, told National Geographic that wearing face masks during firework celebrations could help the aforementioned vulnerable populations.

Aisha Dickerson, an environmental epidemiologist at Johns Hopkins University, agreed that face masks during a fireworks show is a "reasonable and feasible public health measure."

"Wearing a mask is not this foreign concept anymore," Dickerson told National Geographic.

What else is newly racist?

Firework celebrations are not the only thing to be recently branded as having racist side effects.

As TheBlaze reported, some experts now claim that traffic accidents are yet another example of systemic injustice because racism and discrimination are baked into the very fabric of American infrastructure.

The sun and hot weather are also racist, according to Sen. Ed Markey (D-Mass.), who said last month amid a heat wave in the western U.S. that "extreme heat is a justice issue."

"Extreme heat is a justice issue. Within the same city, some neighborhoods can be up to 20°F hotter than others. Studies have shown that heat risk is disproportionately distributed to communities of color in patterns associated with segregation and redlining," Markey said.

Meanwhile, Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot (D) has blamed racism and systemic injustice for surging violent crime in the Windy City, calling racism a "public health issue."

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