Investigation of Environmental Hazards Near Urban Agricultural Sites and Food Handling Behaviors of Consumers
Shargo, Isabel H
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Despite knowledge of the presence of environmental contaminants at legacy sites including Toxic Release Inventory (TRI) facilities, land restoration sites (LRPs), and Superfund sites, limited research has been done to investigate proximity to environmental hazards and potential exposure risks of consumers to urban-grown produce. We conducted a spatial analysis on the distribution of legacy sites, healthy food priority areas, and urban farms by various sociodemographic factors and surveyed consumers to assess food handling behaviors. We found that more residents were unemployed, had less than a high school diploma and had a lower median household income in census tracts that hosted an urban farm and a TRI facility. Also, across most socio demographic groups, more than half of the individuals stated they ‘always’ washed the produce items surveyed. This research provides insight into the distribution of environmental hazards near urban farms and food handling behaviors of consumers of urban-grown produce.