Open Access Senior Thesis
Bachelor of Arts
This thesis discusses the disparities in particulate matter concentrations between different neighborhoods in the city of Pomona, California, and explores the historical, political and social factors that have shaped these spatial patterns. I argue that urban growth patterns in Pomona, which are historically marked by race and class segregation as a consequence of past discriminatory housing practices, have led to the disproportionate concentrations of air pollutants in low-income, Latino communities in South Pomona.
Due to the absence of a local air quality monitoring system, there is a lack of information about and understanding of how poor air quality may be in part responsible for the high prevalence of cardiovascular and respiratory illnesses among South Pomona residents. I carry out a pilot study in which I measure PM2.5 level in different residential locations in Pomona to demonstrate the significant variation in air quality, even at a local level. I find that low-income, Latino communities are exposed to significantly higher levels of PM2.5 than richer, non-Latino white communities, and that the I-10 freeway is a significant source of pollution that could account for the marked differences in PM2.5 between North and South Pomona. I conclude my thesis with regional and local recommendations to address the environmental justice issue of air pollution in Pomona.
Bekkers, Pauline, "When Disparities Become Deadly: Spatial Differences in PM2.5 Levels Within the City of Pomona, California" (2021). Pomona Senior Theses. 247.