Toxic Industrial Air Pollution’s Links to Trust and Civic Engagement: A Nationwide Study of the Socioenvironmental Nature of Social Capital
Brown, Phylicia Lee
Elliott , James R
Master of Arts
The present study conducts a nationwide study of the association of toxic industrial pollution and the facilities that produce it on trust and civic engagement. Data on pollution exposure come from the Risk-Screening Environmental Indicators Geographic Microdata (RSEI-GM) and Toxic Release Inventory (TRI) datasets for the years 1995 to 1999. Data on trust and civic engagement come from the 2000 restricted-access Social Capital Community Benchmark Survey (SCCBS). Statistical analyses indicate that exposures to more toxic air pollution associate negatively with various measures of trust and that increased numbers of TRI facilities associate negatively with various measures of civic engagement. The implication is that exposures to toxic industrial air pollution and the facilities that produce it not only adversely affect the physical health of nearby communities but also their social wellbeing, including underlying capacities for collective action.
Environmental Justice; Toxic Industrial Pollution; Social Capital; Collective Action