132 Annual Meeting Logo - Go to APHA Meeting Page  
APHA Logo - Go to APHA Home Page

[ Recorded presentation ] Recorded presentation

Impact of agricultural burning in a border community on children’s health

William G. Johnson, PhD and Mary E. Rimsza, MD. School of Health Management and Policy and Department of Economics, Arizona State University, Box 874506, Tempe, AZ 85287-4506, 480-965-7442, william.g.johnson@asu.edu

Introduction: The goals of the study are to assess the impacts of prescribed agricultural burns on air quality and perform a preliminary examination of their potential impact on the incidence of respiratory conditions among children in the Yuma County Arizona - San Luis, Sonora, Mexico border region. This is a bi-national problem with trans-boundary spillover effects and the project brings together a multi-disciplinary group of researchers with participants from the United States and Mexico. Methods: This study combines data from a unique community health data system (YCHDS) with environmental data on air pollution to examine links between levels of particulate matter on specified days with the incidence of respiratory problems presented to a hospital emergency department, pediatric physicians and community health centers. The YCHDS merges data from the hospital system, federally qualified community health centers, private pediatric practices, state Medicaid and immunization data, employer-based health insurance and a survey of primarily Hispanic neighborhoods. After identifying periods of known agricultural burns, we will examine the incidence of respiratory illnesses from the Yuma/San Luis area. The results will be compared to a non-control burn period selected to represent time periods relatively free of seasonal effects on respiratory distress. Conclusion: In this region agricultural burns appear to be related to diminished air quality and negative health effects based on increased complaints to the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality of respiratory distress and/or illness during burn periods. This study will determine if a correlation exists between prescribed burns and human health by examining actual health care utilization during periods of burns and non-burns.

Learning Objectives:

Keywords: Minority Health, Air Pollutants

Presenting author's disclosure statement:
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.

[ Recorded presentation ] Recorded presentation

Environmental Exposure: Morbidity and Mortality Consequences for Latino Communities

The 132nd Annual Meeting (November 6-10, 2004) of APHA