What’s new: A new report released today by EDF and ElectrifyNY traces the growth of mega-warehouses–and their health impacts–in communities across New York State, driven in-part by the e-commerce boom. One in four New York State residents now lives within half a mile of a large warehouse of at least 50,000 square feet. Click here to read the full report. Other key findings include:
- 4.8 million state residents in total live within half a mile of a leased warehouse of at least 50,000 square feet.
- Of those, 315,000 are under age five and 649,000 are over age 64.
- Black, Hispanic/Latino and low-income populations live near warehouses at rates that are more than 59%, 48% and 42% higher, respectively, than would be expected based on statewide demographics.
- New York mega-warehouses attract hundreds of thousands of freight truck trips daily, making them top sources of air pollution in communities where they are located.
Why it matters: Diesel trucks emit significant pollution around warehouses while idling and while traveling at low speeds, and regulations to protect health haven’t kept up. EDF research shows that nitrogen dioxide – one of the main pollutants released by these trucks – contributes to more than 21,000 new childhood asthma cases every year in the New York City metropolitan region alone. In areas with worse pollution, it contributes to more than 30% of new asthma diagnoses.
Asthma is a leading cause of missed school days and has been linked to diminished school performance. Black children are nearly nine times more likely to be hospitalized for asthma and five times more likely to die from asthma, compared to non-Hispanic white children. Air pollution from diesel trucks is also associated with increased health risks at other stages of life. It raises the risk of preterm birth, low birth weight, dementia, heart disease and stroke.
Go deeper: Download the full report.