CHAPTER THREE: CONDUCTING HEALTH STUDIES
The follow-up study evaluated data from 1981 through 1990 and used
census block groups to more precisely define the study areas. Incidences of
cancers of the stomach, colon, rectum, liver, lung, bladder, kidney, and brain,
and of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma and leukemia were evaluated for areas of
Broome County (portions of Vestal, Endicott, Conklin, and Colesville).
Numbers of cancer cases were obtained from the New York State Cancer
Registry. The expected numbers of cancer cases were calculated using the 1983
1987 standard incidence rates by sex, age group, and population density.
As in the 1986 study, no consistent patterns of excesses or deficits of the 10
different types of cancer were seen. No type of cancer showed a significant
excess in both males and females when analyzed separately in any of the study
areas. When all 10 types of cancer were combined, none of the study areas had
a significant excess or deficit among males, females, or males and females
combined. In the Vestal 1-1 study area, however, non-Hodgkin's lymphoma
was significantly elevated. Most of the excess cases occurred in males. The
drinking water in the Vestal 1-1 study area had the highest level of
trichloroethylene of the areas included in this study.
This follow-up study provides an additional example where
trichloroethylene (TCE) has been associated with an adverse health effect, i.e.,
cancer. The carcinogenicity of TCE has been debated over the last several years.
Although this study was not conducted with sufficient power to provide a
definitive answer to the TCE carcinogenicity question, it does supply a small
addition to the weight of evidence.
LUNG AND RESPIRATORY DISEASES
Odors associated with increased respiratory illness
A Panel Study of Acute Respiratory Outcomes, Staten Island, New
York. In response to community concerns regarding landfill emissions and air
pollution near Fresh Kills Municipal Landfill on Staten Island, ATSDR
conducted a panel study to investigate whether odor and air pollutants
emanating from the landfill were associated with respiratory health effects
among persons diagnosed with asthma. The investigation was conducted
during the summer season when landfill emissions were highest and potential
confounders were lowest. One hundred forty-eight persons, aged 1565 years
old, who had been diagnosed with asthma, were followed for a 6-week period.
Participants were asked to complete a daily diary while ambient air
measurements in their residential area were collected. Hydrogen sulfide, wind
direction, and odor were selected as indicators of landfill emissions.
Results of the investigation showed a relationship between self-reported
odor and measures of respiratory illness. This relationship was stronger among
particular subgroups within the study population. Measurements of hydrogen
sulfide did not appear to be associated with either measure of respiratory
illness. A slight relationship was seen between a change in peak flow from