Environmental justice and the health of children

Philip J. Landrigan, Virginia A. Rauh, Maida P. Galvez

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

89 Scopus citations


Environmental injustice is the inequitable and disproportionately heavy exposure of poor, minority, and disenfranchised populations to toxic chemicals and other environmental hazards. Environmental injustice contributes to disparities in health status across populations of differing ethnicity, race, and socioeconomic status. Infants and children, because of their unique biological vulnerabilities and age-related patterns of exposure, are especially vulnerable to the health impacts of environmental injustice. These impacts are illustrated by sharp disparities across children of different racial and ethnic backgrounds in the prevalence of 3 common diseases caused in part by environmental factors: asthma, lead poisoning, and obesity. Documentation of linkages between health disparities and environmental injustice is an important step toward achieving environmental justice.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)178-187
Number of pages10
JournalMount Sinai Journal of Medicine
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 2010


  • Air pollution
  • Asthma
  • Built environment
  • Children's environmental health
  • Environmental justice
  • Lead poisoning
  • Obesity


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