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Inadequate Sanitation

Lack of infrastructure, inadequate sanitation and racial discrimination spreads across the entire United States. An analysis of United States Census data found that places with residents of color were more likely to report a lack of access to complete plumbing facilities [1].  In additional to racial disparities, access to sanitation is varied between urban and rural areas. Counties that are more rural are more likely to lack complete plumbing [2]. The lack of access to water and sanitation creates a cycle of poverty and health challenges. Many of the common symptoms and effects of the infections resulting from inadequate sanitation impact child development, pregnancy outcome and productive capacity, thus perpetuating poverty [3]. What follows is a sampling of jurisdictions across the United States where lack of access to sanitation demonstrate patterns of exclusion and neglect affecting predominantly racial, ethnic, and indigenous minorities.

[1]  Stephen P. Gasteyer et al., Basics Inequality, 13 DU BOIS REVIEW: SOCIAL SCIENCE RESEARCH ON RACE 305–325 (2016), https://scholars.opb.msu.edu/en/publications/basics-inequality-race-and-access-to-complete-plumbing-facilities.

[2] Ibid.

[3] Peter J. Hotez, Neglected Parasitic Infections and Poverty in the United States, 8 PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases (2014), http://journals.plos.org/plosntds/article?id=10.1371/journal.pntd.0000256.

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  • Access to Sanitation