Environmental justice

Data and methods

Data relevant for environmental justice (EJ) come mainly from social, environmental and health surveillance instruments on the federal, state and community level, or from special analyses. Frequent problems are, e.g., differing units and methods of data collection and analysis; poor objectivity, reliability and validity of data; little/missing links between various data; insufficient spatial resolution.

Feasible data sources for EJ on the German federal level might be the micro-census (Mikrozensus), the socio-economic panel (Sozioökonomisches Panel), various social reports, the report on poverty and wealth (Armuts- und Reichtumsbericht), the federal health survey (Bundesgesundheitssurvey), der children´s and adolescents´ health survey (Kinder- und Jugendgesundheitssurvey), the environmental survey (Umweltsurvey) and the children´s environmental survey (Kinder-Umweltsurvey). Some relevant data may also be found on the state and community level. More and more, data on the international (European) level become relevant, e.g. emission registers.

An empirical assessment of EJ may also use various qualitative data; e.g., visits of the location, interviews with stakeholders and experts, analyses of media reports, relevant literature, concepts and evaluations, etc.

Furthermore, various quantitative approaches are possible, like

Data collection and analysis mainly uses methods of toxicology, epidemiology, sociology and geography (e.g. GIS, geographical information system). Furthermore, in the US "lay epidemiology"-approaches (popular epidemiology, community-based participatory resarch) are increasingly used, at least in exploratory studies, exposure assessments, etc.

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