MPH 602

MPH 602

Professor Brittany Chapman


Place Matters

Summary of the Unnatural Causes: Place Matters

According to the video Unnatural Causes: Place Matters, it is evident that where we live has a great impact on our health outcomes. There is a wide health gap between people that live in poor neighborhoods and those that live in rich neighborhoods. One of the factors that contribute to the poor health that is associated with poor neighborhoods is that in these neighborhoods, people do not have access to healthy foods that will have a good outcome on their health. The other factor that is evident in the story is the nature of the houses in these neighborhoods. The old walls have accumulated molds that make the houses stuffy. Because of the stuffy air in the houses, the people in these neighborhoods are at the risk of contracting asthma and other respiratory diseases. Due to the lack of access to clean drinking water in these neighborhoods, people are prone to contracting water-borne diseases that pose a great threat to their lives and well-being. Insecurity in these neighborhoods harms people living in them. The other issue that affects them mentally is the uncertainty of their survival given that most of them pay more money for rent than they earn (Williams et al., 2008). Toxic waste in these environments affects the health of the people living in them. Apart from the issues that have been discussed herein, noise pollution and crime rates in cities are major contributors to the health of people. This paper is going to offer more discussion on these issues.

Numerous things add to the well-being of an individual. One of them is the environment in the local area that he or she lives in. In this film, “Unnatural Causes: Place Matters”, they clarify what low pay areas and big-time salary areas have meant for a local area’s wellbeing. As indicated by the film, if you lived in a low pay local area like a neighborhood in Richmond California, a kid would probably be hospitalized because of asthma. This is a result of the environment in Richmond’s neighborhood. As per James Krieger, where individuals work, go to class, and where they live matters at deciding the health of individuals.

In this film, Gwai Boonkeut has been introduced to the audience. He is 49 years of age, a displaced person from Laos that moves to Richmond, California in the year 1980. His occupation is a school janitor. At a young age, he has a frail heart, his heart is just siphoning 15-20% of the blood is leaving the heart, which ordinarily should be about 60%. He likewise endured cardiovascular failure. The specialists in the film are asking themselves about the causes of his health issues. Tobacco is known to be one of the main contributors to cardiovascular disease (Roy et al., 2017). Gwai is not a tobacco user and has no family background of heart issues. Later in the film, the professionals are amused when they find out that the issue that largely affects Gwai has been caused by his surrounding environment.

In Gwai’s current circumstance, there are petrochemical organizations that deliver tones of poisons, there is no admittance to new creation, there is no quality lodging, the public spots are undependable, there is brutality all over the place and there are just cheap food chains, tobacco, and liquor stores insight. Their current circumstance is killing them. Their wellbeing does not improve even though they are dealt with. This is a result of the costs locally. As indicated by the film, there is something many refer to as destitution charge. As indicated by a Brooking Institute, purchasing a vehicle in a low pay area costs $500 more than in a well-off local area, changing out checks amount to 10% metal, furniture machines and basic foods are likewise more costly, this is a neediness charge. Because of this, their current circumstance will not ever improve.

Richmond was a boomtown; this implies that it was a fruitful city (Richmond, CA – Official Website, n.d.). It was once one of the country’s biggest mechanical military centers. This was during WWII, yet when the conflict finished, opportunities in the city died. This made individuals who could leave the city do so. For the most part, just whites were individuals that could afford to stay in the city. White individuals could get new government upheld contracts. The choice was racially one-sided, so this implied that African-Americans, Asian-Americans, and Latinos were left in the dilapidated neighborhoods. When the local area was going downhill, everything along it was going downhill too. This effect is visible today because the locals in the city cannot afford to live a luxurious lifestyle. The soundness of individuals in a low pay local area is not only the people or the group’s flaw, more things lead to it.

Asthma was additionally an outcome of living in the feeble region, like rotten, run-down houses (Krieger, 2010). In High Point, Seattle, an area was constructed. They should be simply transitory lodging; however, they have been there for over 60 years. Since they were not made for the long haul, they got an overview as time passed by. It was likewise perilous outside so kids stay inside, however it was additionally undesirable. They displayed one old unit in the film. There was spilling on the windows that doused the floor, and this turned into a favorable place of the form. There were additionally dust mites, which trigger asthma. As per the film, one out of 10 families was influenced by asthma. That they imagined that it was typical.

To manage their circumstance, the local area cooperated. They worked with the Seattle Housing Authority and the general wellbeing office; they were ground government awards to modify highpoint. With the awards, they were allowed consent to reconstruct their networks. They had the option to have a blended pay local area with wellbeing as its core interest. Their environmental factors transformed, they had the option to construct new quality lodging, and they had ranchers market, because of their homesteads where they sell their collections. Then, at that point, they likewise had safe spots for the kids to play outside, like parks. There were likewise facilities and focus that was inherent in the local area. A family that moved to the local area called The Stephen family said that since their transition to the Breath Easy, they were glad, solid and he was never wiped out any longer, they could likewise rest better. Some ways could turn an undesirable local area into a solid local area.

In summary, the environment in poor neighborhoods is unfriendly to our health because of its environmental factors. Air pollution, water quality, and many other potential hazards such as emissions from toxic waste pose a great threat to the lives of people living in poor neighborhoods (Williams et al., 2008). To change this state in these neighborhoods, people need to take on the course of change and walk towards the creation of a good environment in their neighborhoods. Changing the environment will have a positive impact on their health given that the poor environment they live in is the main contributor to their poor health.

Relationship between the Video and the Table I Submitted

The city I discussed on my table was San Francisco. The city is developed with high-end features that make it a safe place to live in. When I compare the video to the features of the city that I have presented in my table, the environment we live in indeed has a significant effect on our health. In San Francisco, there are very few cases of Asthma when we make a comparison to the film. This is because housing in San Francisco is well equipped with air conditioning (cubic air ordinance) and modern making the air in the houses clean and toxic-free (Oatman-Stanford, 2018). Toxic waste is well managed within the city seeing through a reduction in toxic waste emission. The neighborhood in the film suffers the consequences of a negative environment that have been caused by their lack of resources to get a better life. San Francisco is the way it is because it is a high-end neighborhood. The people living in San Francisco have the resources they need to live the healthiest life that they can afford. The life of the people in San Francisco is the kind of life that many families in the film should want to live. So that the neighborhoods in the film can have a better life concerning their health, they need to make their environment safe and clean so that they can minimize their exposure to toxins and other contributors to ill health. San Francisco needs to maintain its clean environment and promote clean environmental awareness so that its residents can continue enjoying the benefits of a clean safe environment.

How does the film support or contradict the neighborhood factors you listed in the Neighborhood Features Table harm or promote health? What other factors could you add?

The film supports the neighborhood factors that I listed in my table. This is because, in my table, I stated that environments that have clean air assure the safety of people against respiratory issues such as asthma. We have noted that the people in Richmond have low pay which subjects them to poor quality of life and mental issues such as stress. In the table, I stated that people in San Francisco have a high-income rate. Families that earn $117,400 in this city are considered to be placed into the low-income bracket by the community (Nunn & Shambaugh, 2018). Based on the information that I presented in the table, I do not think that I would add any information to it.


Adelman, L. (2008). Unnatural causes: Place matters [Video]. The University of Arizona Global Campus.

Nunn, R., & Shambaugh, J. (2018). San Francisco: Where a six-figure salary is ‘low income’. BBC News.

Krieger, J. (2010). Home is where the triggers are: Increasing asthma control by improving the home environment. Pediatric Allergy, Immunology, and Pulmonology, 23(2), 139-145.

Oatman-Stanford, H. (2018). The bad design that created one of America’s worst housing crises. Fast Company.

Richmond, CA – Official Website. (n.d.). History of Richmond | Richmond, CA. Richmond, CA – Official Website | Official Website.

Roy, A., Rawal, I., Jabbour, S., & Prabhakaran, D. (2017). Tobacco and cardiovascular disease: A summary of evidence. Disease Control Priorities, Third Edition (Volume 5): Cardiovascular, Respiratory, and Related Disorders, 57-77.

Williams, D. R., Costa, M. V., Odunlami, A. O., & Mohammed, S. A. (2008). Moving upstream. Journal of Public Health Management and Practice, 14(6), S8-S17.