210374 Understanding environmental and public health impacts within the Chesapeake Bay watershed through indicator development

Wednesday, November 11, 2009: 10:50 AM

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
Environmental public health indicators are tools used to translate ongoing surveillance of environmental hazards, exposures and health effects into data that can be used by practitioners to make informed decisions regarding the health and safety of populations. The Chesapeake Bay region has a large resource of potential data and information available for the development of indicators bridging environmental changes and conditions within the Chesapeake Bay watershed and its potential implications for human health. Three key indicators will be presented to demonstrate the utility of indicator development including potential health impacts of population exposure to mercury and PCBs from sport-caught fish in Maryland waterways, E. coli in Anne Arundel county, and total tri-halomethanes in drinking water supplies. Indicators suggest that current environmental conditions pose potential risks to population health, particularly to women of child bearing age. Indicators also highlight areas for future mitigation and adaptation within the Chesapeake Bay watershed. There is a need for better data and information regarding health impacts of environmental conditions, and results from this study suggest data analysis and dissemination through indicators can be an important tool to aid decision-makers in making scientifically valid choices.

Learning Objectives:
Explain a proposed system to track the health of the Bay using indicators that are important for human health.

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have received a PhD in environmental epidemiology and policy from Johns Hopkins and have published a research article on the topic.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

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.