Black carbon exposure, socioeconomic and racial/ethnic spatial polarization, and the Index of Concentration at the Extremes (ICE)

Health Place. 2015 Jul;34:215-28. doi: 10.1016/j.healthplace.2015.05.008. Epub 2015 Jun 18.


Background: Scant data quantify associations between economic and racial/ethnic spatial polarization and individual's exposure to pollution.

Methods: We linked data on the socioeconomic position (SEP) of 1757 urban working class white, black, and Latino adults (age 25-64; Boston, MA: 2003-2004; 2008-2010) to: (1) spatiotemporal model-based estimates of cumulative black carbon exposure at their exact residential address, and (2) their census tract values for the Index of Concentration at the Extremes (ICE) for SEP and race/ethnicity.

Results: ICE measures, but not individual- and household-SEP, remained independently associated with black carbon exposure.

Conclusions: The ICE may be useful for environmental health research.

Keywords: Black carbon; Income; Race/ethnicity; Residential segregation; Socioeconomic.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Air Pollutants / analysis*
  • Boston
  • Carbon / analysis*
  • Censuses
  • Continental Population Groups*
  • Ethnic Groups / statistics & numerical data*
  • Family Characteristics
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Socioeconomic Factors*
  • Urban Health


  • Air Pollutants
  • Carbon