Featured Faculty Papers


September/october 2020 ARTICLE - DR. JIM FABISIAK

A risk-based model to assess environmental justice and coronary heart disease burden from traffic-related air pollutants 

Regional policymakers need to efficiently estimate the burden from specific pollutants and identify those communities most at risk to make timely informed policy decisions. We developed a risk-based model to estimate the burden that 2 common air pollutants (black carbon and nitrogen dioxide) have on mortality and morbidity of specific disease associated with air pollution (coronary heart disease) across environmental justice populations in Allegheny County, PA.  This study quantifies the degree of exposure disparity between environmental justice and non-environmental justice areas in the county.  In total, we estimate that these two air pollutants contribute to about 100 excess coronary heart disease deaths per year (or about 4% of total CHD deaths).  Moreover, about 40% of these pollution-related deaths occurred in census tracts which only represented 25% of the population of the county, and which were characterized as having > or = 30% non-white minority and/or > or = 20% in poverty.

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