Environmental Justice

Ensuring equitable access to healthy communities and safe workplaces

In the Puget Sound region and around the world, some communities bear a heavier burden of environmental risks and occupational illnesses and injuries. 

Industrial facilities, major roadways, transportation depots and landfills are often concentrated in geographic areas that are also home to minority populations and people with lower socioeconomic status.

People in those areas may have unequal access to health care, recreational space, public transportation and other amenities and may experience unequal enforcement of environmental health standards or clean-up of environmental hazards. 

On the job, they may face fewer employment opportunities, less job security and a greater likelihood of adverse health outcomes because of their exposure to hazardous pollutants and unsafe work conditions.

Our commitment to environmental justice

The UW Department of Environmental & Occupational Health Sciences believes healthy places to live, work and play are fundamental to population health and that everyone should share in the benefits of environmental amenities.

Recent examples of our work to advance environmental justice include: