Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Silicon Valley's Electronics Manufacturing Toxins Are Concentrated In Poor, Latino Neighborhoods

Date:
August 26, 1998
Source:
American Sociological Association
Summary:
According to sociologist Andrew Szasz, environmental inequality lies beneath Silicon Valley's booming electronics industry. Szasz, a professor of sociology at the University of California at Santa Cruz, analyzed census data and EPA records to produce maps that show toxic emissions concentrated in neighborhoods that tend to be poorer and more Latino than the rest of the county.

SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. -- According to sociologist Andrew Szasz, environmental inequality lies beneath Silicon Valley's booming electronics industry. Szasz, a professor of sociology at the University of California at Santa Cruz, analyzed census data and EPA records to produce maps that show toxic emissions concentrated in neighborhoods that tend to be poorer and more Latino than the rest of the county. His findings will be presented August 24 at the Annual Meeting of the American Sociological Association in San Francisco, Calif.

The rapid transformation of Santa Clara County from a productive agricultural region to a major electronics manufacturing center made it ripe for study, said Szasz. Now, with compelling evidence of environmental inequality in the region, Szasz says the question is what to do to protect people from being systematically victimized because of their ethnicity and income level.

Szasz documents changes from 1960 to 1990 in the racial makeup and median income levels of neighborhoods, and he uses the EPA's Toxics Releases Inventory (TRI) to track the presence of toxic materials.

Many of the hazardous chemicals used in the computer chip manufacturing are included in the TRI list of toxic substances. In Santa Clara County, about 10 percent of TRI materials are emitted directly into the air; the bulk-nearly 75 percent in 1990-are shipped off-site to treatment and disposal facilities, according to Szasz.

Researchers agree that addressing the problem of environmental inequality requires understanding the processes that occur over to create unequal exposure to environmental risks. That, in turn, requires going beyond documenting inequalities at a single moment in time and doing local histories. Stasz's profile of Santa Clara County is one of less than 10 such studies. Unlike most of the others, which have typically focused on older industrial, "rust belt" cities, Szasz's work examines a community where more recent, "high technology," industrialization occurred.

Dr. Szasz and research associate Michael Meuser of UCSC will present their paper, "Incorporating Spatial, Temporal, and Demographic Factors into Environmental Justice Research" as part of an ASA Thematic Session entitled "Environmental Justice: Advances in Theory, Research and Methodology" on August 24 at 2:30 p.m.

Project maps and findings are posted on the following Web site: http://www.mapcruzin.com/EI/

Over five thousand participants are expected at the ASA Annual Meeting, August 21-25 at the San Francisco Hilton and Towers Hotel for hundreds of sessions and presentations on topics including immigration, affirmative action, families and children, health care, and welfare. Journalists are invited to register in the media office, located in rooms 1-2 Union Square on the 4th floor of the San Francisco Hilton, 333 O'Farrell Street.

The American Sociological Association, founded in 1905, is a non-profit membership association dedicated to serving sociologists in their work, advancing sociology as a science and profession, and to promoting the contributions and use of sociology to society.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Sociological Association. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

American Sociological Association. "Silicon Valley's Electronics Manufacturing Toxins Are Concentrated In Poor, Latino Neighborhoods." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 26 August 1998. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1998/08/980826082847.htm>.
American Sociological Association. (1998, August 26). Silicon Valley's Electronics Manufacturing Toxins Are Concentrated In Poor, Latino Neighborhoods. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1998/08/980826082847.htm
American Sociological Association. "Silicon Valley's Electronics Manufacturing Toxins Are Concentrated In Poor, Latino Neighborhoods." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1998/08/980826082847.htm (accessed September 23, 2014).

Share This



More Earth & Climate News

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Hundreds of Thousands Hit NYC Streets to Protest Climate Change

Hundreds of Thousands Hit NYC Streets to Protest Climate Change

AFP (Sep. 22, 2014) Celebrities, political leaders and the masses rallied in New York and across the globe demanding urgent action on climate change, with organizers saying 600,000 people hit the streets. Duration: 01:19 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Protesters Stage Wall Street Climate Sit-in

Raw: Protesters Stage Wall Street Climate Sit-in

AP (Sep. 22, 2014) A day after over 100,000 people marched against climate change, more than 1,000 activists blocked parts of Manhattan's financial district. Over 100 people, including a person wearing a white polar bear suit, were arrested Monday night. (Sept. 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
French FM Urges 'powerful' Response to Global Warming

French FM Urges 'powerful' Response to Global Warming

AFP (Sep. 22, 2014) French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius on Monday warned about the potential "catastrophe" if global warming was not dealt with in a "powerful" way. Duration: 01:08 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ongoing Drought, Fighting Put Somalia at Risk of Famine

Ongoing Drought, Fighting Put Somalia at Risk of Famine

AFP (Sep. 22, 2014) After a year of poor rains and heavy fighting Somalia is again at risk of famine, just three years after food shortages killed 260,000 people. Duration: 01:10 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins