Environmental health illustrated

EPA maps low-income and minority communities hardest hit by pollution

An interactive online map created by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency illustrates that people in some communities in California face the country's greatest health risks from pollution.

The EPA analyzed more than 217,000 census block groups, mostly small communities with an average of 1,400 residents, and combined environmental and demographic data to identify areas where low-income and minority populations are most exposed to air pollution, traffic congestion, lead paint, hazardous waste and other health risks, according to the Los Angeles Times. The map, titled EJSCREEN, shows that communities in southeast Los Angeles County, the Inland Empire and the San Joaquin Valley are among the most at-risk in the nation.

Environmental justice groups say they will use the map (ejscreen.epa.gov/mapper) to advocate for emissions-cutting projects and the enforcement of environmental regulations.