260673 Exposure to transportation-related pollution: Who lives near America's freight gateways?

Tuesday, October 30, 2012 : 10:30 AM - 10:50 AM

Natalie Sampson, MPH , Department of Heath Behavior Health Education, University of Michigan School of Public Health, Ann Arbor, MI
Larissa Larsen, PhD , Urban and Regional Planning and Landscape Architecture, Taubman College, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI
Edith A. Parker, DrPH , Department of Community and Behavioral Health, The University of Iowa, College of Public Health, Iowa City, IA
Barbara A. Israel, DrPH , Department of Health Behavior and Health Education, University of Michigan, School of Public Health, Ann Arbor, MI
Amy J. Schulz, PhD , School of Public Health, Department of Health Behavior and Health Education, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI
Transportation-related pollutants from heavy-duty freight engines have been associated with respiratory and cardiovascular illnesses and cancer. These heavy-duty engines populate freight gateways, areas where land use contains ports, airports, borders, and related infrastructure to enable international or interstate transport of goods. It is suggested that low-income communities of color are more likely to live near these freight gateways, but few studies explore this pattern in the U.S. This project aims to spatially describe the demographic composition of those living near the 50 largest U.S. freight gateways by trade value. Methodologically, this entails integration of demographic data from the American Community Survey, U.S. Census block groups, and digitized shapefiles of each freight gateway. Weighting data by area, descriptive demographic summaries are calculated for 500-meter buffers, and county and national demographic data are used for statistical comparison. Findings show, for instance, for the five largest U.S. freight gateways comprising 25% of U.S. trade (Port of Los Angeles, California; Port of New Jersey/New York; JFK International Airport, New York; Port of Houston, Texas; and the Ambassador Bridge, Detroit, MI), in aggregate, residents within 500 meters are more likely to make less than $20,000/year (46%), have less than a high school education (30%), and identify as Hispanic (58%) or a racial minority (42%) when compared to national rates, respectively 18%, 15%, 26%, and 15%. Results of this study are relevant to transportation, health, and environmental organizations to offer a nuanced understanding of local and national trends and encourage data driven policies.

Learning Areas:
Other professions or practice related to public health
Public health or related public policy

Learning Objectives:
- Describe demographic composition of communities living in close geographic proximity to America's 50 largest freight gateways - Describe spatial methods for assessing demographic composition of communities living in close geographic proximity to America's largest 50 freight gateways

Keywords: Planning, Environmental Health

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have conducted this study as part of my dissertation, including conceptualization of research questions and spatial analyses of secondary data.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.