The application of three methods to measure the statistical association between different social groups and the concentration of air pollutants in Montreal: A case of environmental equity

Analyzing the spatial dispersion of pollutants has led researchers to develop measures in order to determine whether certain population groups are disproportionately exposed to these hazards. A proxy of the distance from major roads, mathematical modelling, and exposure as established by pollutant measurement are three of the main techniques developed to determine environmental inequity with regard to a particular group in the broader population. A number of the studies performed have concluded that the low-income population and, to a lesser extent, visible minorities tend to reside in the most polluted areas. The main objective of this article is to compare the results obtained from three techniques for analyzing the spatial concentration of pollutant emissions on the Island of Montreal. The second objective is to determine whether groups vulnerable to air pollutants—namely, individuals under 15 years old and the elderly—and those who tend to be located in the most polluted areas—i.e., visible minorities and the low-income population—are affected by environmental inequities associated with air pollution. The results obtained from the three techniques for evaluating environmental equity firstly show that there are differences between these techniques. Secondly, they show that the groups selected based on age are not affected by environmental inequities. Finally, they indicate that the low-income population and, to a lesser extent, visible minorities in Montreal more frequently live near major roads and in areas with higher pollutant concentrations.


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  • Accession Number: 01530825
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Jul 22 2014 1:25PM