WASTE management, HAZARDOUS substances, DEMOGRAPHIC surveys, ENVIRONMENTAL risk assessment, DEMOGRAPHIC transition, ENVIRONMENTAL sociology, RACISM, ROLE playing, and SOCIAL groups
This article discusses he concept of "environmental equity" which assessing demographics concerning the treatment, storage and disposal of hazardous wastes (TSDF). Recent evidence of environmental inequity comes from a variety of studies showing that environmental risks, known or potential, are distributed differently across demographic groups. There are two major issues of debate in this context: first, the environmental racism and second, regarding TSDF. The often heated debate concerning TSDF has focused on inequity and on the potentially discriminatory nature of facility locations. Although inequitable distributions are not conclusive evidence of intentional prejudice, it is desirable to understand and document the distribution of facilities and the precise nature of any inequity across social groups, which is the main concern of this article. The first step in a geographic analysis is suggested to determine the appropriate area to be used as a unit of analysis. It is suggested that the judgment of equity then rests on prejudice and undue risk or harm. Demographic studies, however, play a critical role in assessing the equitable distribution of such facilities and evaluating prejudicial exposure to potential harm or benefit.