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Occupational and environmental health equity and social justice.
Occupational and environmental health: recognizing and preventing disease and injury, 6th edition. Levy BS, Wegman DH, Baron SL, Sokas RK, eds. New York: Oxford University Press, 2011 Jan; :69-97
Health equity, the absence of systematic disparities in health between more- and less-advantaged groups, is a fundamental principle of justice and human rights.(1) Yet there is clear evidence of health disparities among racial, ethnic, and income groups in the United States and elsewhere. For example, the relative risk of premature death increases as family income decreases, so members of families that annually earn $20,000 to $30,000 have twice the risk of premature death compared to members of families that annually earn over $100,000. As another example, African Americans have a shorter life expectancy compared to whites, even when those with similar income levels are compared.(2) Recognizing both the importance and challenge of achieving health equity, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, in 2000, made the elimination of health disparities its second major goal for Healthy People 2010, its 10-year agenda. Health disparities result, in part, because poor people and people of color are more likely to encounter hazards and stressors in their communities and at work.(2) Neighborhood environmental stressors include ambient air pollution, hazards from unhealthy uses of land (such as incinerators and landfills), and inadequate numbers of health-promoting facilities and resources, such as clinics, schools, and parks. Disparities in work-related exposures arise from disproportionate employment in hazardous jobs, compounded by workplace discrimination, ineffective training and safety communication due to low literacy and language barriers, and restructuring of jobs, which often creates a sense of instability and job stress.
Occupational-health; Environmental-health; Health-hazards; Occupations; Employee-health; Public-health; Demographic-characteristics; Case-studies; Racial-factors; Sociological-factors; Health-standards; Education; Families; Lifespan; Hazards; Job-stress; Environmental-stress; Environmental-contamination; Environmental-pollution
Levy-BS; Wegman-DH; Baron-SL; Sokas-RK
Occupational and environmental health: recognizing and preventing disease and injury, 6th edition
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division