Epidemiologic Lessons Learned from Environmental Public Health Disasters: Chernobyl, the World Trade Center, Bhopal, and Graniteville, South Carolina
Background: Environmental public health disasters involving hazardous contaminants may have devastating effects. While much is known about their immediate devastation, far less is known about long-term impacts of these disasters. Extensive latent and chronic long-term public health effects may occur. Careful evaluation of contaminant exposures and long-term health outcomes within the constraints imposed by limited financial resources is essential. Methods: Here, we review epidemiologic methods lessons learned from conducting long-term evaluations of four environmental public health disasters involving hazardous contaminants at Chernobyl, the World Trade Center, Bhopal, and Graniteville (South Carolina, USA). Findings: We found several lessons learned which have direct implications for the on-going disaster recovery work following the Fukushima radiation disaster or for future disasters. Interpretation: These lessons should prove useful in understanding and mitigating latent health effects that may result from the nuclear reactor accident in Japan or future environmental public health disasters.
Published in International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, Volume 9, Issue 8, 2012, pages 2894-2909.
© 2012 by the authors; licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/).
Svendsen, E. R., Runkle, J. R., Dhara, V. R., Lin, S., Naboka, M., Mousseau, T. A., & Bennett, C. L. (2012). Epidemiologic methods lessons learned from environmental public health disasters: Chernobyl, the world trade center, bhopal, and graniteville, south carolina. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 9(8), 2894–2909. doi:10.3390/ijerph9082894