California poll shows air-quality concerns high among Latinos

Aug 22, 2011

Californians and the Environment
Four out of every 10 Hispanics in California see regional air quality as a major problem, joining blacks in expressing the most concern about the issue, reported recently LatinoFox News. According to a statewide survey by the Public Policy Institute of California, blacks (42 percent) and Hispanics (41 percent) were more likely than Asians (28 percent) and non-Hispanic whites (19 percent) to cite regional air pollution as a big problem.

Half of Californians, meanwhile, see air pollution as a more serious health threat in lower-income areas than in other parts of the state, the poll found, with Latinos (66 percent) and blacks (64 percent) more likely to hold this view than Asians (55 percent) and non-Hispanic whites (37 percent).

When asked about changes in air quality over time, 61 percent of Latinos and blacks said air pollution is worse today than 10 years ago, while the proportion of Asians (46 percent) and non-Hispanic whites (30 percent) giving that assessment was lower.

Meanwhile, two out every three Hispanics and 76 percent of blacks said they had cut down on their automobile use due to the high cost of gasoline, while the proportion of non-Hispanic whites (55 percent) and Asians (54 percent) who drove less was smaller.

With respect to global warming, the percentages of Latinos and blacks who said they were very concerned about its possible impacts on the state, including more severe wildfires and droughts and increased air pollution and flooding, were larger than those of non-Hispanic whites or Asians.

Latinos were the group most likely to say the effects of global warming were already underway (68 percent). More than 60 percent of blacks and Hispanics said that global warming represents a very serious threat to California, compared with fewer than 40 percent of Asians and whites.

A higher proportion of blacks and Latinos (69 percent each) also backed immediate state action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, while a much smaller majority of whites and Asians said the state should act right away.

According to recent research by Scarborough for the 77 largest DMAs in the nation, there are many similarities between Hispanics and non-Hispanics in their activities done on a regular basis to help the environment.

Both groups buy eco-friendly household cleaning products, use alternative transportation, buy organic food, donate money or time to environmental causes, will pay more for eco-friendly products and services, use energy efficient light bulbs and recycle glass/paper/plastic at the same propensities.

There are some noticeable differences too.  Hispanics are 13 percent more likely to use less water at home than non-Hispanics. Non-Hispanics are 80 percent  more likely to buy locally grown food than Hispanics.  Non-Hispanics are 39 percent more likely to use cloth or other reusable grocery bags than Hispanics. And non-Hispanics are 13 percent more likely to recycle electronics than Hispanics.

Source: FoxNewsLatino, California poll shows air-quality concerns high among Latinos, July 28, 2011