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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2014, 11(8), 7713-7724; doi:10.3390/ijerph110807713

Relationship of Racial Composition and Cancer Risks from Air Toxics Exposure in Memphis, Tennessee, U.S.A.

1
School of Public Health, University of Memphis, Memphis, TN 38152, USA
2
Department of Sociology, University of Memphis, Memphis, TN 38152, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 19 May 2014 / Revised: 11 July 2014 / Accepted: 24 July 2014 / Published: 31 July 2014
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Eliminating Health Disparities to Achieve Health Equity)
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Abstract

African Americans in the U.S. often live in poverty and segregated urban neighborhoods, many of which have dense industrial facilities resulting in high exposure to harmful air toxics. This study aims to explore the relationship between racial composition and cancer risks from air toxics exposure in Memphis/Shelby County, Tennessee, U.S.A. Air toxics data were obtained from 2005 National Air Toxics Assessment (NATA), and the demographic data, including racial composition, were extracted from the 2000 United States Census. The association was examined using multivariable geographically weighted regression (GWR) analysis. The risk difference between African American and White concentrated areas was defined as the absolute disparity, and the percent difference as the relative disparity. GWR analyses show that cancer risks increase with respect to increasing percent of African Americans at the census tract level. Individuals in African American concentrated tracts bear 6% more cancer risk burden than in White concentrated tracts. The distribution of major roads causes the largest absolute disparity and the distribution of industrial facilities causes the largest relative disparity. Effective strategies for reduction in environmental disparity should especially target sources of large absolute disparities. View Full-Text
Keywords: air toxics; cancer risks; racial disparity; NATA air toxics; cancer risks; racial disparity; NATA
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Jia, C.; James, W.; Kedia, S. Relationship of Racial Composition and Cancer Risks from Air Toxics Exposure in Memphis, Tennessee, U.S.A.. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2014, 11, 7713-7724.

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