Quantifying disparities in air pollution exposures across the United States using home and work addresses

by   Priyanka deSouza, et al.

While human mobility plays a crucial role in determining air pollution exposures and health risks, research to-date has assessed risks based solely on residential location. Here we leveraged a database of   130 million workers in the US and published PM2.5 data between 2011-2018 to explore how incorporating information on both workplace and residential location changes our understanding of disparities in air pollution exposure. In general, we observed higher workplace exposures (W) relative to home exposures (H), as well as increasing exposures for non-white and less educated workers relative to the national average. Workplace exposure disparities were higher among racial and ethnic groups and job-types than by income, education, age, and sex. Not considering workplace exposures can lead to systematic underestimations in disparities to exposure among these subpopulations. We also quantified the error in assigning workers H, instead of a weighted home-and-work (HW) exposure. We observed that biases in associations between PM2.5 and health impacts by using H instead of HW were highest among urban, younger populations.


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