3100.0: Monday, November 13, 2000 - 2:30 PM

Abstract #11888

A Methodology for Assessing Environmental Health Conditions Associated with Urban Brownfields: A Look at Baltimore City

Jill S. Litt, PhD, Thomas A. Burke, PhD, MPH, and Nga L. Tran, DrPH, MPH. Department of Health Policy and Management, Johns Hopkins School of Hygiene and Public Health, 624 North Broadway Street, Fourth Floor, Baltimore, MD 21205, 410-614-2295, jlitt@jhsph.edu

Urban brownfields represent the next generation of hazardous waste challenges across America's inner cities. Unfortunately, little is known about the potential chemical and physical hazards associated with these vacant and under-used industrial and commercial parcels. Moreover, information on the health and socioeconomic status of communities living near these sites is limited. State and local cleanup, redevelopment and planning decisions require a rational method to evaluate the cumulative and accumulative hazards associated with brownfields and the potential risks to affected neighborhoods. These hazards must be considered in the broader social, economic, and health context of affected communities. Using publicly available data, a practical framework for scoring, ranking, and setting public health priorities is presented, using Baltimore City's southeast neighborhoods as a case study. The algorithm integrates a wide-array of data on the physical properties of the sites, the chemicals commonly found at these sites, and related chemical toxicity and persistence. An examination of health outcomes as well as key social and demographic indicators that describe the communities living across the brownfield zones is conducted using mapping and statistical tools. The results of this analysis demonstrate that brownfield sites in southeast Baltimore are not benign. Furthermore, communities living near brownfield sites, particularly sites that ranked highest based on toxicity and persistence data, have increased risk of developing respiratory cancer and dying from all-causes of cancer, respiratory disease, and major causes of death when compared to communities living in neighborhoods without brownfield sites.

Learning Objectives: 1) Describe the range of environmental health hazards associated with urban brownfields 2) Construct spatial-indicator framework for considering cleanup and redevelopment strategies for urban brownfields

Keywords: Environmental Health, Indicators

Presenting author's disclosure statement:
Organization/institution whose products or services will be discussed: None
I do not have any significant financial interest/arrangement or affiliation with any organization/institution whose products or services are being discussed in this session.

The 128th Annual Meeting of APHA