University of Tennessee at Chattanooga
Place of Publication
This study views the risks associated with the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) as an environmental injustice issue due to the connection between existing environmental disparities and the disproportional negative impacts brought upon by the virus. The social and health determinants attributed to those environmental disparities have traditionally been evaluated as individual risk factors, an approach that fails to gauge the complexity of an environmental injustice issue. This study employs the emerging theory of intersectionality, a belief that phenomena cannot be linked to one principal cause but instead an interconnected web of influences, in order to synthesize the multitude of factors believed to create a heightened risk to COVID-19. The U.S. Census variables integrated into the Centers for Disease Control Social Vulnerability Index (CDC SVI) provides a familiar outline of determinants to consider for risk assessment by local authorities and outreach efforts. Additional influences are evaluated to further highlight the intersectional nature of the pandemic’s consequences that also serve as unique identifiers when mainstream data is unavailable. The scientific literature, case studies and COVID-related data reviewed here have revealed new insights on long-standing environmental issues and reinforced the need for comprehensive risk assessments.
B. A.; An honors thesis submitted to the faculty of the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga in partial fulfillment of the requirements of the degree of Bachelor of Arts.
COVID-19 (Disease); Environmental justice; Health risk assessment
Environmental Health | Epidemiology
Ellis, Ashley, "Examining an intersection of environmental justice and COVID-19 risk assessment: a review" (2021). Honors Theses.