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Populations and Vulnerabilities

Population Characteristics and Environmental Health

Population characteristics, including resources and vulnerabilities, can help predict the possible end results of health problems and your risk for certain diseases or of public health emergencies and your associated risks. They can also show how diseases can develop and change over time and from one place to another.

Although some research shows that population characteristics and the environment are related, it is difficult to measure the relationship. Some research shows that these factors do affect a person's exposure to environmental hazards. For example, racial minorities and low-income populations may have a greater risk for exposure to several environmental conditions that can threaten their health. The greater risk is because those populations are more likely to live near hazardous waste sites, in areas with high air pollution levels, and in poor housing conditions.

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