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Reference Linking exposure assessment science with policy objectives for environmental justice and breast cancer advocacy: the northern California household exposure study.

Authors Brody JG, Morello-Frosch R, Zota A, Brown P, Pérez C, Rudel RA.
Institution Silent Spring Institute, 29 Crafts St, Newton, MA 02458, USA. brody@silentspring.org
Citation Am J Public Health. 2009 Nov;99 Suppl 3:S600-9.
DOI ID 10.2105/AJPH.2008.149088
PubMed® ID 19890164
Review Status Is curated Curated.
Abstract OBJECTIVES: We compared an urban fence-line community (neighboring an oil refinery) and a nonindustrial community in an exposure study focusing on pollutants of interest with respect to breast cancer and environmental justice.

METHODS: We analyzed indoor and outdoor air from 40 homes in industrial Richmond, California, and 10 in rural Bolinas, California, for 153 compounds, including particulates and endocrine disruptors.

RESULTS: Eighty compounds were detected outdoors in Richmond and 60 in Bolinas; Richmond concentrations were generally higher. Richmond''s vanadium and nickel levels indicated effects of heavy oil combustion from oil refining and shipping; these levels were among the state''s highest. In nearly half of Richmond homes, PM(2.5) exceeded California''s annual ambient air quality standard. Paired outdoor-indoor measurements were significantly correlated for industry- and traffic-related PM(2.5), polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, elemental carbon, metals, and sulfates (r = 0.54-0.92, P < .001).

CONCLUSIONS: Indoor air quality is an important indicator of the cumulative impact of outdoor emissions in fence-line communities. Policies based on outdoor monitoring alone add to environmental injustice concerns in communities that host polluters. Community-based participatory exposure research can contribute to science and stimulate and inform action on the part of community residents and policymakers.