Earth Focus: Fighting for Air

by Nicky Milne

Air pollution has long been recognized as a cause of chronic health issues, and over the last decade the Inland Empire port region close to the city of Los Angeles has become one of the most polluted parts of the United States.

Studies show that people living in the area - known to green groups as a "diesel death zone" - suffer high rates of cancer and lung disorders due, in part, to the swelling volume of trucks, trains and air cargo serving hundreds of delivery warehouses leased by Amazon and other companies.

With the majority of the area's 4 million residents identifying as non-white, activists say color plays a big part in why corporations and politicians are willing to sacrifice the community's health to boost the bottom line.

"Fighting For Air" looks at the "David and Goliath" struggle for clean air in America's wealthiest state, as neighbors come together to fight the online shopping giants they say are poisoning the air they breathe.

This film is part of 'Earth Focus', an investigative series that reports on our changing environment and how it affects people around the world.

Thomson Reuters Foundation co-produces this series with KCET, a content channel of the Public Media Group of Southern California.