2022 Undergraduate Research Showcase


Environmental Injustice: Hazardous Waste in Los Angeles County

Document Type

Student Presentation

Presentation Date


Faculty Sponsor

Dr. Michail Fragkias


Environmental injustice is when acts of environmental harm are also affecting minority and low-income groups and it is a serious concern seen in our society. In many cases, hazardous waste disposal and industrial facilities have been built near minority residential areas as opposed to the majority, wealthy areas. About 92 percent of pollution-related deaths occur in low- and middle-income countries (Heart, 2019). In 1988, exposure levels to pounds of sulfuric acid were highest where black residents live, 154,310 pounds, where below poverty line citizens were located, 121,160 pounds, and where low-income individuals live, 109,820 pounds (Brooks, 1997). Since then, the number of pounds of exposure has decreased, however, there has still been the highest rates of exposure where black residents reside. Specifically in Los Angeles County many minority communities are near hazardous waste treatment, storage, and disposal facilities, also known as TSDF’s. This is a particularly important problem because the hazardous waste is putting the community members at risk. TSDF’s are still important, however, different zoning tactics need to be used to prevent harm for nearby residents.

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