Canadian Environmental Health Atlas

Understanding Our Environment is Key to Promoting Health and Preventing Disease

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Key Points

Environmental Justice

  • “Environmental justice” researchers investigate how disadvantaged communities are inequitably exposed to environmental hazards that often result from industrial activity.
  • In disadvantaged communities, the effects of exposure to environmental hazards are often compounded when residents do not benefit from the higher standard of living and better quality of life that usually come with development.
  • The need for environmental justice research is evident across Canada, but especially in Aboriginal communities, where residents often experience substandard living and environmental conditions.
  • Studies of air pollution in Hamilton, Ontario, have identified critical differences between the most-exposed and least-exposed neighbourhoods that correspond to differences in socioeconomic status.