Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Air Pollution and Asthma Prevalence: Hotspot Analysis of Environmental Injustice in Buffalo New York
by Shaguphta, Zuveria, M.S., State University of New York at Binghamton, 2019, 156; 27543369
Abstract (Summary)

The effects of institutional segregation has had detrimental impacts on certain populations in the United States. African Americans and Hispanics disproportionately carry greater health burdens. A robust body of literature in epidemiology and environmental health sciences, concur that the exacerbation of Asthma with the effects of impending global warming and air pollution caused by toxic producing facilities is a challenge that compels to be addressed. There are three goals of this research, in which the primary purpose of this study is to explore the formerly redlined areas created by the Home Owners Loan Corporation (HOLC) during the 1930’s and the prevalence of asthma in communities today that may live in close proximity to pollution creating industries that are registered with the toxic release inventory database on the Environmental Protection Agency website. They will be referred to as TRI facilities for the remaining of this paper. Literature on environmental justice supports the idea that low socioeconomic standing individuals as well ethnic minorities such as African Americans as well as Hispanic people are more likely to live in neighborhoods that contain such unwanted industries, and therefore carry a greater burden of health disparities than Caucasian people. The second part of my analysis is to analyze red lined maps of the New Deal period, and to see if there is a relationship with the number of toxic release facilities in the same regions that were red lined. Current streets and comparisons of zipcodes that were labeled as “Hazardous” from the original map were chosen as areas of study alongside areas that were deemed “Best” as comparisons. An interactive map created by a collaboration of four universities, allows you to zoom in to see the current streets in the area.

This research aims to focus on the historical impacts of segregation in these communities (with Census Bureau data) and whether we see that these are the areas with continued segregation and a disproportionate number of TRI facilities. The third part of this research will be to investigate the presence of asthma in these neighborhoods as documented by the New York State Health Department. Asthma is a chronic disease in which the airways are inflamed due to some kind of external factor causing this reaction. Literature shows that there is a relationship between outdoor air pollution from combustion of fossil fuels (in particular, emissions by TRI facilities) and the onset of asthma. Although this research was taken place in New York State, there are similar patterns seen across the United States. Further research may help solve such problems that underprivileged people are facing.

Hot Spot Analysis was done using the NAD 1983 which measured in meters for the Getis Ord GI* hotspot analysis. This analysis includes several maps that were created using ArcGIS® software by Esri. ArcGIS® and ArcMap™. An Optimized Hot Spot Analysis was the method chosen, and Global Moran fishnet grid were used. In the hotspot analysis, the northern part of Buffalo shows the highest confidence interval of 99%, which means that there is a statistically significant higher amounts of TRI facilities located in these ZCTAs compared to the rest of Buffalo. The bottom half of Buffalo, as seen on the map, still shows a significant concentration with the hotspot showing a 95% confidence level. Black majority zipcodes consisting of 46–80% had three out of the four zipcodes with a hotspot confidence interval of 99%. That means 75% of the zipcodes have a confidence interval of 99% higher of TRI facility siting compared to the White majority zipcodes that have a 40% of their zipcodes with the same confidence interval. The average asthma rate of the predominantly Black population zipcodes is 156–186 per 10,000. Compared to the White majority zipcodes that had an asthma rate of 56–96 per 10,000. We can clearly see a substantial difference in asthma rates between the predominantly White zipcodes and the predominantly Black zipcodes. A difference rate of 100–90 per 10,000 is here. The rate is doubled, if not more. The zipcodes with predominantly White people are, 14216, 14222, 14206, and 14210. Here we can see that the asthma rate is 71–110 and 34–71 per 10,000. These are the lowest rates shown by the map. We can see a vivid contrast with these zipcode areas and asthma rates. They are drastically on the lower end. The continuous paradigm of health and racial segregation exists nearly nine decades later.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Homsy, George, Holahan, Robert
School: State University of New York at Binghamton
Department: Sustainable Communities
School Location: United States -- New York
Source: MAI 81/7(E), Masters Abstracts International
Subjects: Environmental Health, Sustainability, Environmental science, Environmental Justice
Keywords: Asthma, Environmental health, Environmental justice, Epidemiology, Institutional powers, Sustainability
Publication Number: 27543369
ISBN: 9781392651773
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