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Studies have shown that not all individuals are equally exposed to pollution. For example, worldwide toxic-waste sites are more prevalent in poorer communities. In the United States the single most important factor in predicting the location of such sites is the ethnic composition of a neighbourhood. Three of the five largest commercial hazardous-waste landfills in America are in predominantly black or Hispanic neighbourhoods, and three out of every five black or Hispanic Americans live in the vicinity of an uncontrolled toxic-waste site. The wealth of a community is not nearly as good a predictor of hazardous-waste locations as the ethnic background of the residents, suggesting that the selection of sites for hazardous-waste disposal involves racism. Environmental racism takes international forms as well. American corporations often continue to produce dangerous, US-banned chemicals and ship them to developing countries. In addition, the developed world has shipped large amounts of toxic waste to developing countries for unsafe disposal. For instance, experts estimate that 50 to 80 percent of electronic waste produced in the United States, including computer parts, is shipped to waste sites in developing countries, such as China and India. At a waste site in Giuyu, China, labourers with no protective clothing regularly burn plastics and circuit boards from old computers. They pour acid on electronic parts to extract silver and gold, and they smash cathode-ray tubes from computer monitors to remove lead. These activities so pollute the groundwater beneath the site that drinking water is brought to the area by trucks from a town 29 km away.

The author of the passage seems to believe that, the first consideration in the selection of a place for toxic-waste disposal is ------ .

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