162783 From surveillance to intervention to policy change: Modeling hazardous air pollutants to protect Wisconsin's health

Monday, November 5, 2007: 9:30 AM

Mark Werner, PhD , Division of Public Health, Wisconsin Department of Health Services, Madison, WI
Marni Bekkedal, PhD , Division of Public Health, Wisconsin Department of Health and Family Services, Madison, WI
Kristen Malecki, PhD , Department of Population Health Sciences and Bureau of Environmental and Occupational Health, University of Wisconsin Madison and Wisconsin Department of Health and Familly Services, Madison, WI
Henry Anderson, MD , Division of Public Health, Wisconsin Department of Health and Family Services, Madison, WI
This presentation will detail a joint effort by state health and environmental agencies that led to a voluntary reduction in solvent emissions from an industrial facility. The intervention was precipitated by public inquiry regarding elevated air toxics being released based on Toxic Release Inventory (TRI) data. This led to the state environmental agency to examine findings from their pilot implementation of the U.S. EPA Regional Air Impact Modeling Initiative (RAIMI) model that indicated that emissions of trichloroethylene (TCE) were elevated in a community in Walworth County, Wisconsin. Findings from the model were subsequently confirmed by pollutant monitoring around a facility that used TCE. At the request of the WI Department of Natural Resources, the WI Department of Health and Family Services prepared a consultation summarizing community TCE exposure risks and recommending that the industrial facility emitting TCE reduce their emissions of TCE. After being presented with modeling, monitoring and consultation results, the facility owner - who was in compliance with all applicable permit requirements - agreed to change the manufacturing process in the plant to eliminate TCE emissions. This intervention resulted in reduced community TCE exposure, and serves as a model for how the use of air pollutant modeling to identify high-risk communities can translate into reduced exposure to air toxics. This intervention also illustrates how having a pro-active approach to addressing community environmental health concerns can have positive impacts on reducing population risks from exposure to hazardous pollutants.

Learning Objectives:
1. Understand how models can be used as tools for proactively addressing public health problems at the state and local level. 2. Describe the use of data and information for informed decision-making leading to positive change for protection of public health. 3. Identify the benefits of environmental regulatory and state health agencies working collaboratively to address community level environmental health concerns.

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Any relevant financial relationships? No
Any institutionally-contracted trials related to this submission?

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.