Environmental health inequities

From global to local contexts

Authored by: Eric Crighton , Holly Gordon , Caroline Barakat-Haddad

Routledge Handbook of Health Geography

Print publication date:  June  2018
Online publication date:  June  2018

Print ISBN: 9781138098046
eBook ISBN: 9781315104584
Adobe ISBN:


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There is general consensus that the burdens of pollution and other environmental hazards are not distributed evenly across communities and nations and that this explains an important part of the health disparities that exist between different populations around the world (WHO, 2010; Prochaska et al., 2014). Importantly, how hazards like industrial pollution, automobile emissions and agricultural pesticides are distributed, and the burden they place on health, is often determined not by chance, but rather by environmental, economic and social practices, as well as policies and laws that discriminate based on race, class, culture, age or gender. Thus, many environmental health inequalities also represent inequities in that they are unfair, unjust and avoidable (WHO, 2010).

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