The burden of carcinogenic air toxics among Asian Americans in four US metro areas

  • Sara GrineskiEmail author
  • Danielle Xiaodan Morales
  • Timothy Collins
  • Estefania Hernandez
  • Ana Fuentes
Original Paper


This study investigated disparities in residential exposure to carcinogenic air pollutants among Asian Americans, including Asian ancestry subgroups, in four US metro areas with high proportions of Asians, i.e., Honolulu, Los Angeles, San Francisco Bay Area, and Seattle. Generalized estimating equations adjusting for socioeconomic status, population density, and clustering show that a greater proportion of Asian Americans in census tracts was associated with significantly greater health risk in all four metro areas. Intracategorical disparities were uncovered for Asian ancestry. A greater proportion Korean was positively associated with risk in four metro areas; greater proportion Chinese and Filipino were positively associated with risk in three of the four metro areas. While Asian Americans are infrequently examined in environmental justice research, these results demonstrate that Asian Americans experience substantial distributional environmental injustices in these four metro areas and that ancestry is an important dimension of intracategorical complexity.


Asian Americans Environmental justice Hazardous air pollutants (HAPs) 



The authors thank Dr. Amy Wagler at UTEP for her help with the GEE equation.


Research reported in this paper was supported by the National Institute of General Medical Sciences of the National Institutes of Health under linked Award Numbers RL5GM118969, TL4GM118971, and UL1GM118970. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health.


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of SociologyUniversity of UtahSalt Lake CityUSA
  2. 2.Department of Sociology and AnthropologyUniversity of Texas at El PasoEl PasoUSA
  3. 3.Department of GeographyUniversity of UtahSalt Lake CityUSA

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