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Waiting to Inhale: The Demographics of Toxic Air Release Facilities in 21st-Century California

Citation: Social Science Quarterly, 2004, 85, 2, 420 – 440

We examine the spatial distribution of toxic air releases and residential demographics in California using 2000 Census data and coeval information from the Federal Toxic Release Inventory for evidence of disproportionate exposure. Methods, we use spatial analysis using GIS, and multivariate regression analysis, including ordered and multinomial logit regressions, in our study. Results.Analytical results suggest a pattern of disproportionate exposure based on race, with the disparity most severe for Latinos, which holds in a series of multivariate regressions, including attempts to test for varying levels of pollution risk and to control for spatial dependence. Conclusions.The study corroborates earlier research focused in the Los Angeles area, and suggests that recent concerns about environmental inequities affecting Latinos in California may be well founded.

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