Kids, toxic smoke and inequality

Read the full story in the NYT’s Climate Fwd. newsletter.

I grew up in the age of smog in Southern California. I lived for a few years in one of the world’s most polluted cities, Delhi. I once took my daughter on vacation to the city where I was born, Calcutta, only to rush her to the emergency room because she couldn’t breathe; the pollution hung low and thick in the air.

And so, when I heard that researchers were looking into the impact of wildfire smoke in California, I thought about its effect on children. How have kids been coping with smoke during this extraordinary wildfire season, I wondered? And how were children who lived in already-polluted parts of the state handling the additional assault of wildfire smoke on their lungs, especially those in Fresno, where truck traffic and chemicals from the fields makes the air among the worst in the country?

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