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

Tamara Nichols, MPH, CHES, Janet Scully, MPH, Cyrus Rangan, MD, FAAP, ACMT, Sylvia Tan, MS, and NoŽl Bazini-Barakat, RN, MSN, MPH. Toxics Epidemiology Program, Los Angeles County Department of Health Services, Public Health, 313 North Figueroa Street, Room 127, Los Angeles, CA 90012, 213-738-3229, tnichols@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 second stage of the assessment consisted of an in-home survey administered to 100 randomly selected households within the census tract closest to the landfill. In addition, the in-home survey was administered to 100 randomly selected households in a comparison community. The comparison community was selected based on median household income, race/ethnicity, tenure by years structure was built, median tenure by year householder move into unit, and comparable regional air quality factors. A survey instrument was developed based on an extensive literature review, input from the community and experts in the field, and existing survey questionnaires addressing similar health-related issues. The multi-component survey consisted of questions addressing demographics, home characteristics, general health, tobacco use, medical conditions (including heart problems, diabetes, chronic respiratory conditions, wheezing, asthma, hay fever, allergies, and attention deficit disorder), cancer diagnosis-related information, and neighborhood and landfill community concerns. The interviewees responded to questions about themselves as well as about all household members. Interviews were conducted over the course of a month using trained public health professionals. The results of the second stage of the assessment will be discussed, as well as methods used to disseminate information to the community.

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