Environmental Justice, Lead, and Crime: Exploring the Spatial Distribution and Impact of Industrial Facilities in Hillsborough County, Florida

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This research explores relationships between the spatial distribution of industrial facilities that release lead and lead compounds, community characteristics, and levels of violent and property crime in Hillsborough County, Florida. The spatial distribution of selected Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) facilities was modeled using Getis-Ord Gi* to classify census tracts into three groups: (1) tracts with statistically significant spatial clusters of TRIs; (2) tracts where there was a non-random-absence of TRIs; and (3) tracts with a random distribution of TRIs. Results of one-way ANOVA comparing demographics of clustered locations of TRIs to random and dispersed areas found significant differences, but local prediction models from geographically weighted regression (GWR) were no more useful in understanding TRI concentrations in areas where they are more clustered than in random or dispersed areas. GWR models predicting property crime were improved when TRI concentration was used in random and dispersed areas, but TRI concentration did not improve models predicting violent crime rates.

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Sociological Spectrum, v. 34, issue 1, p. 1-21