Investigating social inequalities in exposure to drinking water contaminants in rural areas

Authors: Delpla, Ianis; Benmarhnia, Tarik; Lebel, AlexandreLevallois, PatrickRodriguez-Pinzon, Manuel J.
Abstract: Few studies have assessed social inequalities in exposure to drinking water contaminants. This study explores this issue in 593 rural municipalities of Québec, Canada. Quartiles of an ecological composite deprivation index were used as a proxy of socioeconomic status. Total trihalomethanes (TTHMs) and lead were chosen as proxies of chemical drinking water quality. The results show that the majority of deprived rural municipalities apply no treatment to their water (26%) or use a basic treatment (51%), whereas a relative majority of the wealthiest municipalities (40%) use advanced treatment. The proportion of municipalities having important lead (>5 µg/L) levels is highest in most deprived municipalities. Moreover, most deprived municipalities have a higher risk of high tap lead levels (RR = 1.33; 95%CI: 1.30, 1.36). Conversely, most deprived municipalities have a lower risk of high TTHMs levels (RR = 0.78; 95%CI: 0.69, 0.86). These findings suggest an environmental inequality in drinking water contaminants distribution in rural municipalities.
Document Type: Article de recherche
Issue Date: 11 September 2015
Open Access Date: Restricted access
Document version: VoR
Permalink: http://hdl.handle.net/20.500.11794/13457
This document was published in: Environmental Pollution, Vol. 207, 88–96 (2015)
https://doi/org10.1016/j.envpol.2015.08.046
Applied Science Publishers
Alternative version: 10.1016/j.envpol.2015.08.046
26367702
Collection:Articles publiés dans des revues avec comité de lecture

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