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Exposure to Extremely Hazardous Substances

Exposure to Extremely Hazardous Substances

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Exposure to Extremely Hazardous Substances

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  1. Exposure to Extremely Hazardous Substances The likelihood of exposure to hazardous substances based on economic status and race Paper by J. Chakraborty. 2001. Risk Analysis, 21(5): 883-895 Presented by Jeffrey Tate, Environmental Studies, Geog 370, 3/1/2010

  2. Differences in Exposure • Problem: Whether or not minorities and people of lower economic status are more likely to be exposed to extremely hazardous substances • Hypothesis: Minorities and people below the poverty line have significantly more exposure to extremely hazardous chemicals than whites and those above the poverty level

  3. Methods • Site: Hillsborough County, Florida • Determined within the county: Number of facilities that use extremely hazardous substances, where they are, what substances they house (from RMPs) • Estimates for 1997 based on Census data were used to determine the racial composition and poverty status of the population in the county • The locations of the facilities were geocoded onto the street network and used with the Census data to see what groups of people were close to the facilities

  4. Results • Non-white people had a higher risk of potential exposure to accidental releases of extremely hazardous chemicals than white people • People below the poverty line had a higher risk of potential exposure than those above the line

  5. Conclusions • There is a clear difference between the potential exposure of hazardous substances between minorities and whites, and those above the poverty line and below • There are clear racial and economic inequalities in the distribution of accidental exposure to hazardous substances • Criticisms • Does not determine whether communities or facilities come first • Does not examine actual health effects due to exposure of hazardous substances