Soil lead distribution and environmental justice in the phoenix metropolitan region

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14 Scopus citations


In this study, we investigate socioeconomic inequities related to the spatial distribution and potential exposure from lead in the rapidly urbanizing region of Phoenix, AZ. We use soil lead concentrations from 200 samples collected across Phoenix as indicators of potential lead exposure, and compare them with population characteristics aggregated at the census tract level from the 2000 census, using regression and spatial autocorrelation. Percent Hispanic and percent renters are the two major regressors for lead distribution, which indicates that wealth is a weaker predictor of inequitable lead exposure than race/ethnicity and housing tenure in metropolitan Phoenix. Inequitable distribution of soil lead, likely from lead paint, reflects diminished social power, authority, and funds of neighborhoods with a high percentage of nonwhite residents living in rental housing to mitigate the potential hazard of historic lead-based paint.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)206-213
Number of pages8
JournalEnvironmental Justice
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 1 2012

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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