Social disparities in health: disproportionate toxicity proximity in minority communities over a decade

Health Place. 2010 Jul;16(4):674-83. doi: 10.1016/j.healthplace.2010.02.005. Epub 2010 Feb 21.


This study employs latent trajectory models measuring the level of toxic waste over a decade in the cities of six highly populated, ethnically diverse, counties in southern California from 1990 to 2000 in 3001 tracts. We find that tracts with 15% more Latinos are exposed to 84.3% more toxic waste than an average tract over this time period and tracts with 15% more Asians are exposed to 33.7% more toxic waste. Conversely, tracts with one standard deviation more residents with at least a bachelor's degree (15.5%) are exposed to 88.8% less toxic waste than an average tract. We also found that these effects were considerably weaker when using the raw pounds of toxic waste rather than the toxicity-weighted measure, suggesting that future research will want to account for the toxicity of the waste.

MeSH terms

  • Asian Americans / statistics & numerical data
  • California
  • Cultural Diversity
  • Educational Status
  • Environmental Exposure / analysis
  • Environmental Exposure / statistics & numerical data*
  • Environmental Monitoring
  • European Continental Ancestry Group / statistics & numerical data
  • Hazardous Substances* / adverse effects
  • Hazardous Substances* / analysis
  • Health Status Disparities*
  • Hispanic Americans / statistics & numerical data
  • Humans
  • Income
  • Linear Models
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Minority Groups / statistics & numerical data*
  • Models, Statistical
  • Nonlinear Dynamics
  • Population Density
  • Residence Characteristics / statistics & numerical data
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • Urban Health / statistics & numerical data


  • Hazardous Substances