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First stage health risk assessment within a community residing in close proximity to a municipal landfill

NoŽL. Bazini-Barakat, RN, MSN, MPH, Cyrus Rangan, MD, FAAP, ACMT, Sylvia Tan, MS, Janet Scully, MPH, and Tamara Nichols, MPH, CHES. Toxics Epidemiology Program, Los Angeles County Department of Health Services, Public Health, 313 North Figueroa Street, Room 127, Los Angeles, CA 90012, 213-738-6104, nbarakat@ladhs.org

In response to community concerns and perceptions of elevated cancer and chronic respiratory conditions, Los Angeles County DHS Public Health Toxics Epidemiology Program conducted a 2-stage health risk assessment to identify patterns of illness for residents living near a municipal landfill. The first stage of the assessment consisted of collaboration with various disciplines to analyze existing health-related data and evaluate whether disparities were noted within the community. During this stage of the assessment, existing cancers, low birth weight births, birth defects, death rates and causes of death data were compiled and analyzed. Upon request, the University of Southern California Cancer Surveillance Program performed an assessment of cancer prevalence rates for the community adjacent to the landfill. Data for specific cancers with potential environmental links, including lung, liver, breast, colon, and bladder, were analyzed. Birth weights were assessed by analyzing data from birth certificates among women residing in the census tracts closest to the landfill. Upon request, the California Birth Defects Monitoring Program analyzed data on infants born with Down Syndrome, cleft lip with or without cleft palate, neural tube defects, and two congenital heart defects (transposition of the great arteries, and Tetralogy of Fallot). Registered death certificate data was used to determine causes of death in the community of concern. The results of the first stage of the assessment will be discussed, as well as strengths and limitations of the study.

Learning Objectives:

  • Upon completion of the session, the participant will be able to

    Keywords: Environmental Health, Epidemiology

    Presenting author's disclosure statement:
    Organization/institution whose products or services will be discussed: Los Angeles County Department of Health Services, Public Health
    I have a significant financial interest/arrangement or affiliation with any organization/institution whose products or services are being discussed in this session.
    Relationship: Employment

    Public Health in the Environment 1

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