Rubbertown, located in west-end downtown Louisville stretching along the Ohio River started producing synthetic rubber during World War II in the 1940s has since evolved into a span of 19 facilities, with the majority of which being chemical plants. The population surrounding Rubbertown has expanded with the adjacent neighborhoods housing approximately 5,000 people, and has been projected to continue to gain population. Those living near Rubbertown are prone to a variety of environmental factors due to the large emittance of products, ranging from oil products, calcium carbide, plastics, paint products, polymers, rubbers, and many more. These volatile compounds can be directly related to health concerns, specifically cancer. However, despite the history of concern from the residents of Rubbertown, there has been minimal action for change. In this thesis, the researcher will investigate environmental factors that have direct correlations to premature death such as air pollutants and hazardous waste sites in the area. Components of environmental injustice will also be explored with the breakdown of demographics in the area, both in relation to race and educational opportunities. Because of these factors and their connection to environmental and public health, this thesis will argue that environmental pollutants are causing adverse health effects in Rubbertown, which can be tied with environmental injustice in the population.

Semester/Year of Award

Fall 11-2022


Gary Brown

Mentor Department Affiliation

Environmental Health Science

Access Options

Open Access Thesis

Document Type

Bachelor Thesis

Degree Name

Honors Scholars

Degree Level



Environmental Health Science

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