Residential proximity to environmental hazards and adverse health outcomes

Am J Public Health. 2011 Dec;101 Suppl 1(Suppl 1):S37-52. doi: 10.2105/AJPH.2011.300183. Epub 2011 Oct 25.


How living near environmental hazards contributes to poorer health and disproportionate health outcomes is an ongoing concern. We conducted a substantive review and critique of the literature regarding residential proximity to environmental hazards and adverse pregnancy outcomes, childhood cancer, cardiovascular and respiratory illnesses, end-stage renal disease, and diabetes. Several studies have found that living near hazardous wastes sites, industrial sites, cropland with pesticide applications, highly trafficked roads, nuclear power plants, and gas stations or repair shops is related to an increased risk of adverse health outcomes. Government agencies should consider these findings in establishing rules and permitting and enforcement procedures to reduce pollution from environmentally burdensome facilities and land uses.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Environmental Exposure / adverse effects*
  • Female
  • Hazardous Substances / toxicity*
  • Humans
  • Pregnancy
  • Residence Characteristics*


  • Hazardous Substances