Urbana Campus Research Calendar (OVCRI)

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Impacts of Industrial Chemical Accidents in the US

Event Type
Program in Environmental & Resource Economics (pERE)
Sep 25, 2023   12:00 - 1:00 pm  
Jiameng Zheng, Postdoc Research Associate, Illinois GIES
Originating Calendar
ACE Seminars

Industrial chemical accidents pose grave risks to public health and social stability, often disproportionately affecting minority and economically disadvantaged communities. This study examines the long-term consequences of such incidents on health and residential mobility within the United States. Leveraging administrative Medicare data from over three million elderly and long-term disabled beneficiaries, the research finds that industrial chemical accidents elevate the mortality rate among Medicare beneficiaries by 3.5%. Additionally, these incidents lead to increased rates of hospital admissions and emergency room visits. My mobility analysis indicates that approximately 0.4% of beneficiaries are inclined to relocate away from areas affected by chemical accidents. Black beneficiaries are less likely to move compared to their non-Black counterparts. Among those who do relocate, I observe significant disparities: minorities tend to move into neighborhoods characterized by higher levels of environmental pollution and higher mortality risks. Preliminary calculations suggest that the public health benefits of averting chemical accidents outweigh the expenses associated with improving risk management protocols in industrial facilities.

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