Environmental Health Hazards and Social Justice : Geographical Perspectives on Race and Class Disparities book cover
1st Edition

Environmental Health Hazards and Social Justice
Geographical Perspectives on Race and Class Disparities

ISBN 9781844078257
Published December 14, 2010 by Routledge
304 Pages

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Book Description

This book provides geographic perspectives and approaches for use in assessing the distribution of environmental health hazards and disease outcomes among disadvantaged population groups. Estimates suggest that about forty per cent of the global burden of disease is attributable to exposures to biological and chemical pathogens in the physical environment. And with today's rapid rate of globalization, and these hazardous health effects are likely to increase, with low income and underrepresented communities facing even greater risks. In many places around the world, marginalized communities unwillingly serve as hosts of noxious facilities such as chemical industrial plants, extractive facilities (oil and mining) and other destructive land use activities. Others are being used as illegal dumping grounds for hazardous materials and electronic wastes resulting in air, soil and groundwater contamination.
The book informs readers about the geography and emergent health risks that accompany the location of these hazards, with emphasis on vulnerable population groups. The approach is applications-oriented, illustrating the use of health data and geographic approaches to uncover the root causes, contextual factors and processes that produce contaminated environments. Case studies are drawn from the author's research in the United States and Africa, along with a literature review of related studies completed in Europe, Asia and South America. This comparative approach allows readers to better understand the manifestation of environmental hazards and inequities at different spatial scales with localized disparities evident in both developed and developing countries.

Table of Contents

Part 1: Themes and Concepts  1. Geographic Foundations of Environmental Health Hazards: The Need for A Place-Based Perspective  2. Environmental Health and Disease Indicators: Valuation Measures, Transition Frameworks, and Burden of Disease Estimates  3. Population Health Disparities and Social Injustices: Indicators and Spatial Patterns  4. Conceptualization and Measurement of Race, Ethnicity and Class  5. Environmental Health Data Collection, Analysis and Visualization: An Overview of Geographic Methodologies  Part 2: Environmental Aspects of Health Disparities  6. Global Climate Change and Environmental Degradation: Place Vulnerability and Public Health Challenges  7. A Spatial Analysis of Emergent and Re-Emergent Public Health Risks  8. Toxic Chemicals: Disparate Patterns of Exposure and Health Outcomes  9. Geographic Principles of Environmental Justice and Equity  10. Global Geographies Environmental Injustice and Health Inequities  11. Population Disparities in Water Access, Sanitation and Health Implications  12. Food Justice, Nutritional Security and Pediatric Health Outcomes  Part 3: Social Attributes and Economic Factors in Population Health Disparities  13. Poverty, Race and Place: A Triple Whammy Hypothesis for Minority Health Geographies  14. Globalization, Population Mobility and Immigrant Health Disparities  15. Group Disparities in Access, Quality and Utilization of Health Resources  16. Exploring Pathways to Environmental, Health and Social Equity

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Florence Margai is Associate Professor in the Department of Geography, Binghamton University, New York State, USA. She is the author and coauthor of three books including the Introduction to Geography: Laboratory Exercises and Readings (Kendall/Hunt, 2006).


'This book is comprehensive, and provides material which will be excellent for both introductory and graduate level courses in environmental health, environmental justice, social justice, health geography and population health. Conceptualizations of race and ethnicity and discussions of the role of social and economic factors in health disparities add to the strength of the book.' Isaac Luginaah, Associate Professor & Canada Research Chair in Health Geography, The University of Western Ontario, Canada 'A much needed reference in medical geography and environmental epidemiology that is richly illustrated and offers an accessible introduction to the visualization and spatial analysis of environmental health data. Academics now have the perfect tool to expose undergraduate and master students to the fascinating world of medical and environmental geography applied to important societal issues, such as environmental justice and health disparities.' Pierre Goovaerts, Chief Scientist, BioMedware Inc. 'Using different geographic scales and an integrative approach, this outstanding book analyzes the social injustices and disparities in context of environmental hazards and associated health risks. This is the first book of its kind to critically explore the interactions among environmental hazards, heath, and social justice. Florence M. Margai is a dedicated scholar who has been studying environmental and social disparities throughout her career. The book is very interesting and valuable; it is well researched and extremely insightful.' Bimal Kanti Paul, Professor, Department of Geography, Kansas State University, USA