Environmental Pollution, Race and Place: Research and Policy Implications

  • Ibipo Johnston-Anumonwo
Conference paper


A key theme in geographic research is to analyze changes over time and across places. Studies on trends about racial differences in settlement patterns can inform analysts about whether the thesis of differential racial proximity to toxic sites or exposure to hazardous wastes is still tenable or not. The purpose of this study is to provide a locational and longitudinal comparative analysis of the role of race and place on environmental pollution based on the conceptual and empirical literature of research on racial disparities in exposure to pollutants for varied locations in the US. The findings reveal racial inequalities in environmental pollution that are consistent with a systematic and widespread pattern of defacto racial residential segregation in contemporary US. These findings are synthesized to inform future research agenda and the policy options for alleviating adverse impacts of environmental pollution on racial minorities. With its emphasis on place-specific analyses, a geographic perspective offers a comprehensive approach to understanding and addressing the multiple burdens of environmental racism.


Residential Segregation Black Worker Toxic Release White Privilege Future Research Agenda 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ibipo Johnston-Anumonwo
    • 1
  1. 1.State University of New YorkNew YorkUSA

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