Geographic information systems can test neighborhood environmental justice concerns that noxious land uses and adverse health outcomes cluster in minority communities. According to U.S. Census data, 574,283 persons reside in Boston of which 197,806 (34.4 percent) live in Roxbury, Dorchester, and Mattapan (District) considered one district for this study. Minorities comprised 72.2 percent of the inside District residents, but only 24 percent of the outside District Boston population. Responding to community concerns, the addresses of resident children making Boston Medical Center (BMC) Asthma Emergency Room visits, children with elevated lead levels, children lead poisoned, and waste facilities were electronically mapped and overlaid by neighborhood boundaries. A thematic map was created for the four datalayers counting the locations plotted in each neighborhood. There are 27.3 waste facilities per 100,000 residents, 4.1 times as many from the District than in other parts of Boston (6.64 per 100,000 residents). There were 389 BMC asthma visits per 100,000 residents, 3.89 times as many from the District than from other sections of Boston (101 visits per 100,000 residents). About 54.8 children living in the District per 1000 tested had blood lead levels above 9 µg/dl compared to 16.9 per 1000 from other sections. There were 10.1 children per 1000 screened as lead poisoned (Pb >=20 µg/dl) from the District compared to 4.29 per 1000 from outside. Thematic mapping confirmed the disparate clustering of the evaluated noxious activities and adverse health impacts in this district proving to be an effective tool for assessing environmental health needs.
Learning Objectives: By the end of this presentation, the participant will: 1. Geocode and plot on an electronic map selected datasets containing the addresses of noxious land uses and residents with adverse health conditions, 2. Establish map overlayers delineating boundaries for regions of environmental justice concern, 3. Create thematic maps identifying the extent of adverse health impacts and noxious activities occurring within identified regions of environmental justice concern relative to outside regions
Keywords: Environmental Justice, Geographic Information Systems
Presenting author's disclosure statement:
Organization/institution whose products or services will be discussed: None
I have a significant financial interest/arrangement or affiliation with any organization/institution whose products or services are being discussed in this session.
The 128th Annual Meeting of APHA