Although all workers and communities may potentially face one or more of the hazards discussed in this book, certain populations-because of their age, race, ethnicity, or economic position - are more likely to be employed in the most dangerous occupations and workplaces or live in the most polluted neighborhoods. Many of these same populations also represent a disproportionate share of those who (a) lack health insurance, (b) cannot afford decent childcare services, and (c) have insufficient political and economic influence to obtain adequate services and economic investment for their neighborhoods. This chapter will describe some of these inequities and explain how differential patterns of work-related injuries and illness have resulted and how many low-income and minority communities have become polluted by the disproportionate siting of hazardous industrial and waste facilities in their communities.
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