Understanding environmental health inequalities through comparative intracategorical analysis: racial/ethnic disparities in cancer risks from air toxics in El Paso County, Texas

Health Place. 2011 Jan;17(1):335-44. doi: 10.1016/j.healthplace.2010.11.011. Epub 2010 Dec 3.


This paper contributes to the environmental justice literature by analyzing contextually relevant and racial/ethnic group-specific variables in relation to air toxics cancer risks in a US-Mexico border metropolis at the census block group-level. Results indicate that Hispanics' ethnic status interacts with class, gender and age status to amplify disproportionate risk. In contrast, results indicate that non-Hispanic whiteness attenuates cancer risk disparities associated with class, gender and age status. Findings suggest that a system of white-Anglo privilege shapes the way in which race/ethnicity articulates with other dimensions of inequality to create unequal cancer risks from air toxics.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Air Pollutants / adverse effects*
  • Environmental Exposure / statistics & numerical data*
  • Female
  • Health Status Disparities*
  • Hispanic or Latino / statistics & numerical data*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasms / chemically induced
  • Neoplasms / epidemiology*
  • Risk Factors
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • Texas / epidemiology
  • Whites / statistics & numerical data*
  • Young Adult


  • Air Pollutants