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Article Reference Troff document (with manpage macros)Environmental Justice and the Food Environment in Prince George’s County, Maryland: Assessment of Three Communities
Lack of access to a health-promoting food environment can lead to poor health outcomes including obesity which is a problem for African-Americans in Prince George’s County, Maryland. Previous research examined the quality of the food environment at the regional level but did not consider local level indicators. In this study, we utilized an environmental justice framework to examine the local food environment in the County. We collected data from 127 food outlets, (convenience stores, grocery stores, and supermarkets), in three racially and socioeconomically diverse communities – Bladensburg (predominantly African American/ Black, with the lowest median household income); Greenbelt (similar percentage of non-white persons as Hyattsville, with the highest median household income); and Hyattsville (dominated by a Hispanic population). We examined the availability, quality, and accessibility of food within each community, using a modified version of the Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future (CLF) healthy food availability index (HFAI).We also used ArcMap 10.6 to examine the spatial distribution of stores in relation to sociodemographic factors and generate descriptive statistics to examine HFAI score differences across the communities, sociodemographic composition, and store types at the block group level. Mean HFAI scores were 7.76, 10.75, and 9.60 for Bladensburg, Greenbelt, and Hyattsville, respectively suggesting a relative disparity in access to diverse healthy and good quality food sources for these communities although these differences were not statistically significant (p=0.79). Statistically significant differences between the communities were found with respect to ethnic stores, stores that sold fresh vegetables (p=0.047), and stores that sold fresh fruits (p=0.012). Getis-Ord Gi Hot Spot Analysis revealed one statistically significant cold spot at 95% confidence, and two others at 90% confidence in Hyattsville, indicating a cluster of low-scoring stores. The results indicate a potential need for expanded food infrastructure in these communities to improve public health. We also identified the need for culturally appropriate foods and proposed ethnic stores as potential salutogens to improve the food environment in culturally diverse neighborhoods.
Located in MPRC People / Sacoby Wilson, Ph.D., M.S. / Sacoby Wilson Publications
Sustainable Community Oriented Stormwater Management: A Sensible Strategy for the Chesapeake Bay
Sacoby Wilson is Co-Investigator on an EPA-funded regional project focused on increasing Best Management Practices in a sensitive ecological zone
Located in Research / Selected Research
Google searches for ‘n-word’ associated with black mortality
UMD-led study first to link an Internet query-based measure of racism to death rates
Located in Research / Selected Research
Article Reference Troff document (with manpage macros)Environmental Justice and Infectious Disease: Gaps, Issues, and Research Needs
The purpose of this article is to examine the relationship between environmental changes and infectious diseases and their impact on health in environmental justice (EJ) communities. The evolution of EJ science and research is contingent upon an integrated approach that takes into account social processes and environmental changes to address the burden of infectious diseases in EJ communities. We recognize that infectious disease and environmental justice is novel and calls for more research in this area, especially as the focus of public health shifts towards an ecologic and social approach to disease prevention. We attempt to explore in further detail how environmental changes such as urbanization, agriculture, and climate variability could potentially influence pathogen dynamics, vector transmission, host susceptibility, and disease outcomes among environmental justice populations.
Located in MPRC People / Sacoby Wilson, Ph.D., M.S. / Sacoby Wilson Publications
Sacoby Wilson featured in ABC News and The Washington Post on environmental injustice
Environmental justice "linked with climate change"
Located in News
New study maps racism in the United States according to Google search data
Racist internet searches are correlated with black mortality
Located in News
Sacoby Wilson featured in Bloomberg on environmental injustice
Congressional Black Caucus members called on to fight environmental injustice affecting poor black neighborhoods
Located in News
Article Reference Troff document (with manpage macros)Air Quality Assessment of Volatile Organic Compounds Near a Concrete Block Plant and Traffic in Bladensburg, Maryland
A concrete block plant located in Bladensburg, Maryland, wants to expand to include a concrete batching plant on the same property. This expansion could further degrade air quality and impact the health of vulnerable residents. The purpose of this study is to provide information on volatile organic compounds (VOCs) levels near residential areas close to commuter traffic and industrial activity associated with the concrete plant. Air quality monitoring was conducted in the community at five sites: (1) Kingdom Missionary Baptist Church, (2) Bladensburg Waterfront Park, (3) Confluence area, (4) Bladensburg Elementary School, and (5) Hillcrest Apartment Complex by using the Atmotube, a wearable, real-time sensor that can measure total VOCs. Sampling was conducted in 30-minute periods to capture morning onpeak, afternoon off-peak, and evening on-peak periods. Traffic counts were also conducted at the sites mentioned earlier to evaluate vehicular activity. Average 30-minute values for cars ranged from 8.33 to 1295.33 cars, whereas mean truck values ranged from 0.00 to 137.67 trucks across all sites. The highest average car count of 1295.33 cars was observed at the confluence area. Mean VOCs concentrations ranged from 0.11 to 0.54 ppm across the monitoring locations. The maximum average VOCs level of 0.54 ppm was observed at Kingdom Missionary Baptist Church on Saturday. Also, the mean VOCs levels observed at the church (0.54 and 0.31 ppm) were higher compared with other locations on Saturday. Our results revealed spatial variations of VOCs levels across all locations. There were higher total VOCs levels at the church, which is the closest location to the concrete block plant.
Located in MPRC People / Sacoby Wilson, Ph.D., M.S. / Sacoby Wilson Publications