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An initial assessment of spatial relationships between respiratory cases, soil metal content, air quality and deprivation indicators in Glasgow, Scotland, UK: relevance to the environmental justice agenda

Morrison, S.; Fordyce, F.M.; Scott, E. Marian. 2014 An initial assessment of spatial relationships between respiratory cases, soil metal content, air quality and deprivation indicators in Glasgow, Scotland, UK: relevance to the environmental justice agenda. Environmental Geochemistry and Health, 36 (2). 319-332. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10653-013-9565-4

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Abstract/Summary

There is growing interest in links between poor health and socio-environmental inequalities (e.g. inferior housing, crime and industrial emissions) under the environmental justice agenda. The current project assessed associations between soil metal content; air pollution (NO2/PM10) and deprivation and health (respiratory case incidence) across Glasgow. This is the first time that both chemical land quality and air pollution have been assessed city-wide in the context of deprivation and health for a major UK conurbation. Based on dataset ‘averages’ for intermediate geography areas, generalised linear modelling of respiratory cases showed significant associations with overall soil metal concentration (p=0.0367) and with deprivation (p<0.0448). Of the individual soil metals, only nickel showed a significant relationship with respiratory cases (p=0.0056). Whilst these associations could simply represent concordant lower soil metal concentrations and fewer respiratory cases in the rural versus the urban environment; they are interesting given (i) possible contributions from soil to air particulate loading and (ii) known associations between airborne metals like nickel and health. This study also demonstrated a statistically significant correlation (-0.213; p<0.05) between soil metal concentration and deprivation across Glasgow. This highlights the fact that despite numerous regeneration programmes, the legacy of environmental pollution remains in post-industrial areas of Glasgow many decades after heavy industry has declined. Further epidemiological investigations would be required to determine whether there are any causal links between soil quality and population health/well-being. However, the results of this study suggest that poor soil quality warrants greater consideration in future health and socio-environmental inequality assessments.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI): https://doi.org/10.1007/s10653-013-9565-4
Additional Information. Not used in RCUK Gateway to Research.: This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits any use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author(s) and the source are credited.
Additional Keywords: soil metals, air quality, pollutants, health, deprivation, environmental justice
NORA Subject Terms: Earth Sciences
Health
Chemistry
Date made live: 14 Nov 2013 10:20 +0 (UTC)
URI: http://nora.nerc.ac.uk/id/eprint/503842

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