Inequality & the Environment: Making the Link to Advance Health Equity

Speaker: Lara Cushing
Institution: UCLA
Location: MS 7124
Date: February 1, 2023
Time: 3:30 pm to 4:30 pm


Communities of color in the US live closer to environmental hazards such as industrial sources of air and water pollution and are expected to be more severely impacted by climate change. Environmental and climate related exposures have been linked with adverse health outcomes including preterm birth, which disproportionately affects Black, Indigenous, and Latinx people and can have lifelong health implications. This talk will present recent findings assessing the health risks and environmental justice implications of exposures related to fossil fuel development, extreme heat, and sea level rise for pregnant people and communities of color. This will include a discussion of (1) satellite-based methods to characterize exposure to flaring from oil and gas drilling (2) the use of the natural experiment of a heat wave to understand the impacts of climate change on birth outcomes, and (3) projections of flood risk at hazardous sites due to sea level rise in California.