Next Article in Journal
Evaluation of Changes in Individual Community-Related Empowerment in Community Health Promotion Interventions in Estonia
Next Article in Special Issue
Distributional Benefit Analysis of a National Air Quality Rule
Previous Article in Journal
Review of Pesticide Urinary Biomarker Measurements from Selected US EPA Children’s Observational Exposure Studies
Previous Article in Special Issue
Comparing Distributions of Environmental Outcomes for Regulatory Environmental Justice Analysis
Article Menu

Export Article

Open AccessArticle
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2011, 8(6), 1755-1771; doi:10.3390/ijerph8061755

Making the Environmental Justice Grade: The Relative Burden of Air Pollution Exposure in the United States

Children’s Environmental Health Initiative, Nicholas School of the Environment, Duke University, Box 90328, Durham, NC 27708, USA
Keating Environmental, 7508 Thunder Mountain, Efland, NC 27243, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 12 April 2011 / Accepted: 6 May 2011 / Published: 25 May 2011
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Environmental Justice)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [541 KB, uploaded 19 June 2014]   |  


This paper assesses whether the Clean Air Act and its Amendments have been equally successful in ensuring the right to healthful air quality in both advantaged and disadvantaged communities in the United States. Using a method to rank air quality established by the American Lung Association in its 2009 State of the Air report along with EPA air quality data, we assess the environmental justice dimensions of air pollution exposure and access to air quality information in the United States. We focus on the race, age, and poverty demographics of communities with differing levels of ozone and particulate matter exposure, as well as communities with and without air quality information. Focusing on PM2.5 and ozone, we find that within areas covered by the monitoring networks, non-Hispanic blacks are consistently overrepresented in communities with the poorest air quality. The results for older and younger age as well as poverty vary by the pollution metric under consideration. Rural areas are typically outside the bounds of air quality monitoring networks leaving large segments of the population without information about their ambient air quality. These results suggest that substantial areas of the United States lack monitoring data, and among areas where monitoring data are available, low income and minority communities tend to experience higher ambient pollution levels.
Keywords: environmental justice; air pollution; ozone; particulate matter environmental justice; air pollution; ozone; particulate matter
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

Scifeed alert for new publications

Never miss any articles matching your research from any publisher
  • Get alerts for new papers matching your research
  • Find out the new papers from selected authors
  • Updated daily for 49'000+ journals and 6000+ publishers
  • Define your Scifeed now

SciFeed Share & Cite This Article

MDPI and ACS Style

Miranda, M.L.; Edwards, S.E.; Keating, M.H.; Paul, C.J. Making the Environmental Justice Grade: The Relative Burden of Air Pollution Exposure in the United States. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2011, 8, 1755-1771.

Show more citation formats Show less citations formats

Related Articles

Article Metrics

Article Access Statistics



[Return to top]
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health EISSN 1660-4601 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert
Back to Top