Environmental Justice Publications

The Haves, the Have-Nots, and the Health of Everyone: The Relationship Between Social Inequality and Environmental Quality

By Lara Cushing, Rachel Morello-Frosch, Madeline Wander, and Manuel Pastor

Annual Review of Public Health
Vol. 36: 193-209
(Volume publication date: March 2015)
DOI: 10.1146/annurev-publhealth-031914-122646

"A growing body of literature suggests that more unequal societies have more polluted and degraded environments, perhaps helping explain why more unequal societies are often less healthy. We summarize the mechanisms by which inequality can lead to environmental degradation and their relevance for public health. We review the evidence of a relationship between environmental quality and social inequality along the axes of income, wealth, political power, and race and ethnicity. Our review suggests that the evidence is strongest for air- and water-quality measures that have more immediate health implications; evidence is less strong for more dispersed pollutants that have longer-term health impacts. More attention should be paid in research and in practice to links among inequality, the environment, and health, including more within-country studies that may elucidate causal pathways and points of intervention. We synthesize common metrics of inequality and methodological considerations in an effort to bring cohesion to such efforts."

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Journal article: Integrating public health and community development

November 5, 2014

The November 2014 issue of the Health Affairs journal included an article by PERE Director, Manuel Pastor and PERE affiliate researcher, Rachel Morello-Frosch titled, “Integrating Public Health And Community Development To Tackle Neighborhood Distress And Promote Well-Being.” In the article, Pastor and Morello-Frosch called for "public health to reconnect to urban planning in ways that emphasize the impact of place on health and that address fundamental causes of poor health, such as poverty, social inequality, and discrimination."

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The Truth, the Whole Truth, and Nothing but the Ground-truth: Methods to Advance Environmental Justice and Researcher-Community Partnerships

By James Sadd, Rachel Morello-Frosch, Manuel Pastor, Martha Matsuoka, Michele Prichard, and Vanessa Carter

Health Education & Behavior 2014, Vol. 4(3) 281-290.

Environmental justice advocates often argue that environmental hazards and their health effects vary by neighborhood, income, and race. To assess these patterns and advance preventive policy, their colleagues in the research world often use complex and methodologically sophisticated statistical and geospatial techniques. One way to bridge the gap between the technical work and the expert knowledge of local residents is through community-based participatory research strategies.

In this article, the authors document how an environmental justice screening method was coupled with "ground-truthing"—a project in which community members worked with researchers to collect data across six Los Angeles neighborhoods—which demonstrated the clustering of potentially hazardous facilities, high levels of air pollution, and elevated health risks. They provide recommendations and implications for future research and collaborations between researchers and community-based organizations.

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Screening for Justice: Proactive Spatial Approaches to Environmental Disparities

By Manuel Pastor, Rachel Morello-Frosch, and Jim Sadd

Whether it’s proximity to mobile and stationary emission sources, poor ambient air quality, or the relationship between air toxics and student demographics at the school site, researchers studying issues of environmental justice in California have generally found consistent evidence of significant disparities in exposure by racial and socioeconomic factors (including indicators like income, rates of home ownership, and linguistic isolation), even after controlling for land use and other explanatory factors.

This article appears in the August 2013 issue of EM Magazine, a publication of the Air & Waste Management Association (A&WMA; www.awma.org). To obtain copies and reprints, please contact A&WMA directly at 1-412-232-3444.

Equity Issue Brief: Advancing Environmental Justice Through Sustainability Planning

Prepared by: 

Manuel Pastor, Madeline Wander, Mirabai Auer
December 2012

Facing the Climate Gap: How Environmental Justice Communities are Leading the Way to a More Sustainable and Equitable California

Ellen Kersten, UC Berkeley
Rachel Morello-Frosch, UC Berkeley
Manuel Pastor, University of Southern California
Marlene Ramos, Columbia University

October 2012 

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Cooling the Planet, Clearing the Air: Should climate policies give extra credit for maximizing short-term health benefits?

by James Boyce and Manuel Pastor

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Near-roadway pollution and childhood asthma: Implications for developing "win-win" compact urban development and clean vehicle strategies

Environmental Health Perspectives 
By Laura Perez, Fred Lurmann, John Wilson, Manuel Pastor, Sylvia J. Brandt, Nino Künzli, and Rob McConnell
September 2012 

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PERE and Affiliate Researchers release new article in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health

“Playing It Safe: Assessing Cumulative Impact and Social Vulnerability through an Environmental Justice Screening Method in the South Coast Air Basin, California”

By James L. Sadd, Manuel Pastor, Rachel Morello-Frosch, Justin Scoggins, and Bill Jesdale

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Hidden Hazards: A Call to Action for Healthy, Livable Communities

Minding The Climate Gap: What's at Stake if California's Climate Law isn't Done Right and Right Away

By Manuel Pastor, Rachel Morello-Frosch, James Sadd, and Justin Scoggins
April 2010

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The Climate Gap: Inequalities in How Climate Change Hurts Americans & How to Close the Gap

By Rachel Morello Frosch, Manuel Pastor, Jim Sadd, and Seth Shonkoff 
May 2009

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Justice in the Air: Tracking Toxic Pollution from America's Industries and Companies to Our States, Cities, and Neighborhoods

Michael Ash, James K. Boyce, Grace Chang, Manuel Pastor, Justin Scoggins, and Jennifer Tran

[Ash, Boyce, and Chang are from the Political Economy Research Institute (PERI) at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst; Pastor, Scoggins, and Tran are from the Program for Environmental and Regional Equity (PERE) at the University of Southern California]

April 2009

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Cumulative Impacts in East Oakland: Findings from a Community-Based Mapping Study

By Communities for a Better Environment
September 2008

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Publications by issue area

  • Program for Environmental and Regional Equity (PERE)
  • 950 W. Jefferson Blvd., JEF 102
  • Los Angeles, CA 90089-1291