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Measuring Spatial Environmental Deprivation: A New Index and its Application in France

Abstract : Despite increasingly stringent environmental regulations, industrial and transportation emissions continue impact public health. Since vulnerable populations bear a disproportionate burden of environmental risks, spatial differentials in environmental exposure contribute to social disparities in health outcomes. Environmental Justice (EJ) analyses tend to focus either on the location of selected point or nonpoint pollution on a whole territory (the geography of toxic waste sites, atmospheric pollution) or on local disproportionate impacts of multiple exposures (demographics near specific industrial clusters). We lack tools that can identify present spatial environmental inequalities and take into account multiple environmental risks through different media over large territories. To address this gap, this study proposes an original, comprehensive, replicable, and scalable spatial environmental deprivation (SED) index. The SED index is applied in the French context. We validate the robustness and usefulness of the index by confronting its outputs to local mortality rates and verifying that it is a significant predictor of health outcomes. The application of the SED index targets environmental interventions (e.g., facility siting and decontamination prioritization) and policies that seek to reduce spatial and social inequalities.
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https://hal-univ-rennes1.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-01118624
Contributor : Laurent Jonchère <>
Submitted on : Thursday, February 19, 2015 - 2:47:40 PM
Last modification on : Thursday, June 10, 2021 - 11:16:25 AM

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Tarik Benmarhnia, Lucie Laurian, Séverine Deguen. Measuring Spatial Environmental Deprivation: A New Index and its Application in France. Environmental Justice, Mary Ann Liebert, 2013, 6 (2), pp.48-55. ⟨10.1089/env.2013.0001⟩. ⟨hal-01118624⟩

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