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Title: Sulfur dioxide exposure and environmental justice : a multi-scale and source-specific perspective
Authors: Zou, B
Peng F 
Wan, N
Wilson, JG
Xiong, Y
Keywords: AERMOD
Air pollution exposure
Spatial scale
Issue Date: 2014
Publisher: Elsevier
Source: Atmospheric pollution research, 2014, v. 5, no. 3, p. 491-499 How to cite?
Journal: Atmospheric pollution research 
Abstract: Recent studies examining racial and ethnic inequities in exposure to urban air pollution have led to advances in understanding the nature and extent of overall concentration exposures by pollutant, demarcated by disadvantaged groups. However, the stability of inequities at various spatial units and the exposure by air pollution sources are often neglected. In this case study from the Dallas-Fort Worth (Texas, USA) area, we used Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and an air dispersion model to estimate environmental justice impacts at different spatial scales (i.e., zip code, census tract, block group) and by source (i.e., industrial pollution sources, vehicle pollution sources, industry and vehicle pollution sources combined). Using whites as a reference, blacks and other races were more likely to be exposed to higher sulfur dioxide (SO2) concentrations although the Odds Ratio (OR) varied substantially by pollution source type [e.g., industrial pollution source based: (OR=1.80; 95% CI (Confidence Interval): 1.79-1.80) vs. vehicle pollution source based: (OR=2.70; 95% CI: 2.68-2.71)] and varied less between spatial scales [for vehicle pollution sources, (OR=2.70; 95% CI: 2.68-2.71) at the census tract level but was (OR=2.54; 95% CI: 2.53-2.55) at the block group scale]. Similar to the pattern of racial inequities, people with less education (i.e., less than 12 years of education) and low income (i.e., per capital income below $20 000) were more likely to be exposed to higher SO2 concentrations, and those ORs also varied greatly with the pollution sources and slightly with spatial scales. It is concluded that the type of pollution source plays an important role in SO2 pollution exposure inequity assessment, while spatial scale variations have limited influence. Future studies should incorporate source-specific exposure assessments when conducting studies on environmental justice.
ISSN: 1309-1042
DOI: 10.5094/APR.2014.058
Rights: © Author(s) 2014. This work is distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License (
The following publication Zou, B., Peng, F., Wan, N., Wilson, J. G., & Xiong, Y. (2014). Sulfur dioxide exposure and environmental justice: A multi-scale and source-specific perspective. Atmospheric Pollution Research, 5(3), 491-499 is available at
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