Climates of Resistance
RE / 2021
From Climates of Resistance: Envrionmental Racism and Collective Action Seminar
San Joaquin Valley in California is one of the nation’s largest agricultural regions. Latinos make up the majority of the farmworkers living there. They are also disproportionately affected by contaminated water systems. The poor water quality can be attributed to elevated levels of nitrates, a toxic chemical that primarily comes from polluted farm runoff. Although nitrate is naturally occurring and non-harmful in small quantities, the CDC considers anything above 3 mg/L of nitrate to be contaminated drinking water. Continued consumption of nitrates is linked to increased risk of cancer and other diseases. Further, the EPA’s maximum contaminant level for nitrate set to protect against blue-baby syndrome, which starves infants of oxygen and can be fatal, is 10 mg/L. Yet the eight counties that comprise the San Joaquin Valley have systems that have much higher quantities of nitrate dissolved in the finished water supply. The Environmental Working Group (EWG) analyzed California State Water Resources Control Board data and found that six out of ten communities in which nitrate levels exceeded federal limits were majority-Latino.
The informational graphic and illustration were presented at a virtual showcase of student work for an elective seminar, titled Climates of Resistance: Environmental Racism and Collective Action on May 20th, 2021. View website ︎︎︎