Environmental racism is a concept in the environmental justice movement, which developed in the United States and abroad throughout the 1970s and 1980s. The term is used to describe environmental injustice that occurs within a racialized context both in practice and policy. In the context of the United States, environmental racism often emphasizes the inequalities between urban and exurban areas after white flight. Internationally, environmental racism can refer to the effects of the global waste trade, like the negative health impact of the export of electronic waste to China from developed countries, as well as the particular vulnerability of indigenous groups to environmental pollution.
Examples include the siting of polluting factories (sewage treatment, smokestacks) in residential areas of particular ethnic or minority groups. It is also evident in the new political trend of eco-racism which talks of "demographic pollution" and blames immigrants for consumption of more resources, higher emissions of pollutants, and more waste.