236690 Barqan Industrial Park: Implications of industrial development for population health

Monday, October 31, 2011: 10:30 AM

Claudia Chaufan, MD, PhD , Institute for Health & Aging / Social & Behavioral Sciences, University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco, CA
Jad Isaac, PhD , Applied Research Institute-Jerusalem, Bethlehem, Palestine
Jane Hilal, MA , Applied Research Institute-Jerusalem, Bethlehem, Palestine
Nigel Field, PhD , Palo Alto University, Palo Alto, CA
Human health is intimately linked to the health of the environment. Environmental degradation sickens and kills millions around the world, especially minorities and low-income groups. Industrial parks are one major source of environmental degradation, posing serious threats to the sustainability of the environment and to population health. This pilot study adopts Ecosystem Health and Environmental Justice frameworks to map the population health impact of the Barqan Industrial Park. Barqan, located in the West Bank, spans 360 acres and hosts over 70 industrial facilities engaged in a variety of processes, including plastic, electroplating, and textile manufacturing, likely to have major environmental and health impacts. In a preliminary assessment, residents in three nearby villages reported skin diseases, cancer, birth defects, and psychological stress. Our planned pilot study examines the impact of the Park's untreated wastewater on one affected village, Bruqin, including the physical and mental health of its residents and the physical and chemical properties of its water supplies, soil, and milk of grazing cattle. Data will be used to calculate sample sizes for a larger controlled study including all six villages affected by Barqan. Because neither the Park's construction nor practices have been accompanied by environmental or health assessments, there is a critical need for a comprehensive investigation that can evaluate its population health impact and inform public health and environmental interventions and policy in the region. Our study, the first to examine the population health impact of an Industrial Park in this location, builds towards this objective.

Learning Areas:
Public health or related laws, regulations, standards, or guidelines

Learning Objectives:
1. Describe population health impact of environmental degradation generally and industrial parks particularly 2. Describe legal underpinnings of environmental degradation in Palestine 3. List specific health-related outcomes affected by industrial wastewater 4. Identify policy interventions to assure environmental justice

Keywords: Environmental Health Hazards, Environmental Justice

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I designed the project in collaboration with Palestinian investigators
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.