Quantifying the Distribution of Environmental Health Threats and Hazards in Washington State Using a Cumulative Environmental Inequality Index



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About Justice. Aug 1, 2021; 14 (4): 298-314. doi: 10.1089 / approx. 2021.0021. Online publication of August 12, 2021.


Background: Environmental racism, community stressors and age-related susceptibility play an important role in environmental inequalities. The objective of this article was to use an inequality index (II) to assess the level of equality of environmental threats and risks according to race, poverty and age in the state of Washington. Methods : Using the Washington Environmental Health Disparities Map, we quantified the level of disproportionate burdens on communities with a larger population of people of color, people in poverty, children under 5. years and people over 65 using 3 cumulative environmental indices and 10 individual environmental indicators. Results: Census tracts with a higher proportion of people of color and people living below the federal poverty line of 185% were found to be disproportionately affected by environmental threats (II = -0.175 and II = -0.167, respectively, p p environmental health threats based on the proportion of people over 65 (II = 0.124, p Discussion: The disproportionate burden of cumulative environmental threats on communities of color and low-income communities in this study supports similar analyzes. These results can be applied in policy and regulatory actions to correct distributive environmental disparities. Conclusion: We have found much higher burdens among historically marginalized communities and children who are more susceptible to environmental threats and dangers.

PMID: 34484558 | PMC: PMC8404171 | DOI: 10.1089 / approx. 2021.0021



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