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Pollution Burden

Variable Definitions:
Pollution Burden Percentile: The percentile of a given area’s potential exposure to pollutants and adverse environmental conditions, compared to the rest of LA County

Methodology Note:
The original CalEnviroScreen dataset provides percentiles across all California census tract. However, these percentiles are recalculated exclusively within Los Angeles County census tracts to fit NDSC’s geography.

For more information on the California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment’s methodology, visit the CalEnviroScreen homepage.

California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment – CalEnviroScreen 2.0 (2014), CalEnviroScreen 3.0 (2017), CalEnviroScreen 4.0 (2021)

Years Available:

CalEnviroScreen 2.0: 

Data collected from 2009-2011 and published in 2014

CalEnviroScreen 3.0: 

Data collected from 2012-2014 and published in 2017

CalEnviroScreen 4.0: 

Data collected from 2017-2019 and published in 2021

Why are these variables important to measure?

Pollution Burden Score

The Pollution Burden Score is a measurement developed by the California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) ranging from .1 to 10 that measures the amount of pollution an area faces. It includes measurements of potential pollution exposures such as air quality, drinking water contamination, pesticide use, toxins from facilities, and traffic density. It also includes measurements of several environmental effects including cleanup sites, impaired bodies of water, groundwater threats, and hazardous and solid waste facilities. A higher score indicates higher instances of pollution in the air. 

The Pollution Burden Score is a good overall measure of pollution concentration in an area that includes both air and water components. This has wide-ranging health implications, as pollution is associated with many negative health outcomes and premature death.


Faust, John et al. “Update to the California Communities Environmental Health Screening Tool: CalEnviroScreen 3.0.” Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment & California Environmental Protection Agency, January 2017. Link

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