5042.0 Environmental Justice and Health Disparities in Brownfields Communities

Wednesday, October 29, 2008: 8:30 AM
A brownfield site is defined as real property, of which the expansion, redevelopment, or reuse may be complicated by the presence of a hazardous substance, pollutant, or contaminant. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates that there are more than 450,000 brownfield sites in the United States. The negative social, economic, and health impacts of brownfield properties do not have borders like the properties themselves. Cleaning and revitalizing these properties is important so that 1) more undeveloped and open land is not utilized while these sites remain abandoned and 2) underserved and underprivileged communities where brownfield sites are located can begin with a clean slate for a healthy and sustainable environment. Communities with multiple brownfield properties tend to be of lower socioeconomic status. Poverty, high crime rates and fewer amenities increase the likelihood of lower health status. The benefits of neighborhood revitalization can include reduced exposure to environmental contamination, improved housing, access to health care, addition of community recreational space, community greening, reduction in disease, and establishment of new businesses and employment. These benefits are further magnified by involving the community in the revitalization process, leading to overall improvements in public health.
Session Objectives: 1. Recognize the negative social, economic, and health impacts effect of brownfields on communities. 2. Prioritize actions to reduce environmental justice impacts from potentially-contaminated brownfield sites. 3. Describe positive outcomes from community revitalization efforts, leading to an overall reduction in environmental justice effects, such as increased access to health care, creation of jobs, and community empowerment.

8:45 AM
Detroit Experience: Protecting the Health of Brownfields Communities
Vincent Nathan, PhD, Laurel Berman, PhD, Donele Wilkins and Sharon D. Beard, IH

See individual abstracts for presenting author's disclosure statement and author's information.

Organized by: Environment
Endorsed by: Ethics SPIG, Occupational Health and Safety, Socialist Caucus

CE Credits: CME, Health Education (CHES), Nursing

See more of: Environment