Exploring Patterns of Environmental Injustice in Ambient Air Pollutant Levels in British Columbia

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Sumara Stroshein


Research in major Canadian cities has demonstrated that regions characterized by socioeconomic deprivation tend to have higher levels of ambient air pollution. However, the distribution of the burden of air pollution across rural BC has not been thoroughly investigated, even in areas with major industrial polluters. This project used data from the Canadian Urban Environmental Health Research Consortium (CANUE) to explore the association between PM2.5 and NO2 levels and measures of deprivation in rural BC. Preliminary analysis using logistic regression models suggests that in the South Interior region of BC, postal code regions with the highest deprivation scores are 2.45 times more likely to have a PM2.5 level above the regional mean (CI: 2.20-2.74) compared to postal codes with the lowest deprivation scores. This preliminary analysis supports the idea that there are inequities in the distribution of ambient air pollutants in both rural and urban regions of the province.

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Environmental explorations: pollution, pest control, rivers, climate change