Environmental Justice of Toxic Pollution among US Neighborhood



Document Type


Publication Date

Spring 2023


The literature has shown that minority and low-income populations are disproportionately exposed to environmental hazards. In this study, we focus on polluting facilities and investigate whether the toxic chemicals released by polluting facilities are disproportionately located in low-income neighborhoods. Using We obtain toxic release from polluting facilities from the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Toxic Release Inventory (TRI), which is a public database on toxic chemical releases and waste management activities reported by various industries. It provides information on the amount, location, and type of chemicals released by various industries. With the facility coordinates included in TRI, we can determine the Census Tract in which the polluting facility is situated. Through the Census Tract FIPS code, we can then connect each facility to the socioeconomic characteristics obtained from the American Community Survey.. We will analyze the spatial distribution of toxic chemicals and identify hotspots of contamination within the targeted communities. We will also investigate the potential health consequence of being exposed to these chemicals and the extent to which they contribute to health disparities between affluent and disadvantaged communities. The research findings will contribute to the understanding of the distribution of toxic chemicals and the associated disproportionate health risks in low poverty communities. The study will also provide insight into the potential factors that contribute to environmental injustice and health disparities. The ultimate goal is to provide suggestions for policymakers and community activists who are working to address environmental justice issues and advocate for the health and well-being of vulnerable populations.

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