The Spark

the Voice of
The Communist League of Revolutionary Workers–Internationalist

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.”
— Karl Marx

Working Class Areas Breathe in More Truck Pollution

May 29, 2023

With the rising demand of online shopping and fast home delivery options, corporations are building more warehouses than ever before. Hundreds, if not thousands of diesel-run trucks are being loaded and unloaded at each warehouse nearly every single day. And it’s negatively impacting the health of residents living near these new warehouses.

Studies have linked the pollutants from diesel exhaust to increases in respiratory hospitalizations, heart attacks, premature births, and preventable deaths. The Chicago-area Warehouse Workers for Justice released a report showing unhealthy levels of an air pollutant called PM2.5 in Joliet and Elwood, two working-class towns near Chicago. This PM2.5 pollutant causes about seven million preventable deaths a year, according to the World Health Organization.

Nearly 2 million people in Illinois live near these warehouses with lots of truck pollution. Illinois was reported to have one of the most obvious patterns of unequal warehouse distribution of any state. Of course, you wouldn’t see this pollution problem in Glencoe or Winnetka, Illinois, two of the richest towns in the U.S.! But working class lungs and lives are deemed expendable in this society.