Poverty

A 2010 report by the Los Angeles Collaborative for Environmental Health and Justice found a disproportionate risk to low income communities in Los Angeles County from the San Fernando Valley through the City of Los Angeles, down to the Port of Long Beach.1 In addition to pollution exposure disparities, access to facilities that provide opportunities for healthy diet and exercise are also limited. Consequently, low income adults are twice as likely to suffer from diabetes.2 The diagram below indicates that a significant percentage of communities living near the Los Angeles River are living below the 200% poverty line.3


1 Los Angeles Collaborative for Environmental Health and Justice, Hidden Hazards: A Call to Action for Healthy, Livable Communities, (2010)

2 California Department of Public Health Chronic Disease Control Branch, 2014

3 To determine a person’s poverty status, the Census Bureau uses income thresholds that are dependent on family size. “For example, if a family of four with two children has a total income less than $21,938 during 2010, everyone in that family is considered to live below the federal poverty line.” (California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment). A 200% poverty line (a threshold double the federal poverty level) was used in the analysis because “the federal poverty thresholds have not changed since the 1980s despite increases in the cost of living, and because California’s cost of living is higher than many other parts of the country.” (California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment).