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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2015, 12(5), 5355-5372; doi:10.3390/ijerph120505355

Traffic, Air Pollution, Minority and Socio-Economic Status: Addressing Inequities in Exposure and Risk

1
Environmental Analysis and Outcomes Division, Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, 520 Lafayette Road, St Paul, MN 55155, USA
2
Division of Environmental Health Sciences, School of Public Health, University of Minnesota, 420 Delaware Street SE, Minneapolis, MN 55455, USA
These authors contributed equally to this work.
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Brian Caulfield
Received: 14 April 2015 / Revised: 11 May 2015 / Accepted: 13 May 2015 / Published: 19 May 2015
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Transport Impacts on Public Health)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [1768 KB, uploaded 19 May 2015]   |  

Abstract

Higher levels of nearby traffic increase exposure to air pollution and adversely affect health outcomes. Populations with lower socio-economic status (SES) are particularly vulnerable to stressors like air pollution. We investigated cumulative exposures and risks from traffic and from MNRiskS-modeled air pollution in multiple source categories across demographic groups. Exposures and risks, especially from on-road sources, were higher than the mean for minorities and low SES populations and lower than the mean for white and high SES populations. Owning multiple vehicles and driving alone were linked to lower household exposures and risks. Those not owning a vehicle and walking or using transit had higher household exposures and risks. These results confirm for our study location that populations on the lower end of the socio-economic spectrum and minorities are disproportionately exposed to traffic and air pollution and at higher risk for adverse health outcomes. A major source of disparities appears to be the transportation infrastructure. Those outside the urban core had lower risks but drove more, while those living nearer the urban core tended to drive less but had higher exposures and risks from on-road sources. We suggest policy considerations for addressing these inequities. View Full-Text
Keywords: traffic; socio-economic status; air pollution risk; environmental justice traffic; socio-economic status; air pollution risk; environmental justice
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Pratt, G.C.; Vadali, M.L.; Kvale, D.L.; Ellickson, K.M. Traffic, Air Pollution, Minority and Socio-Economic Status: Addressing Inequities in Exposure and Risk. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2015, 12, 5355-5372.

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