Chapter

Geospatial Technologies in Environmental Management

Volume 3 of the series Geotechnologies and the Environment pp 165-186

Date:

Application of GIS in Evaluating the Potential Impacts of Land Application of Biosolids on Human Health

  • Kevin P. CzajkowskiAffiliated withDepartment of Geography and Planning, The University of Toledo Email author 
  • , April AmesAffiliated withDepartment of Geography and Planning, The University of Toledo
  • , Bhuiyan AlamAffiliated withDepartment of Geography and Planning, The University of Toledo
  • , Sheryl MilzAffiliated withDepartment of Public Health and Preventive Medicine, The University of Toledo
  • , Robert VincentAffiliated withDepartment of Geology, Bowling Green State University
  • , Wendy McNultyAffiliated withDepartment of Geology, Bowling Green State University
  • , Timothy W. AultAffiliated withDepartment of Geography and Planning, The University of Toledo
  • , Michael BisesiAffiliated withCollege of Public Health, The Ohio State University
  • , Brian FinkAffiliated withDepartment of Public Health and Preventive Medicine, The University of Toledo
    • , Sadik KhuderAffiliated withDepartment of Public Health and Preventive Medicine, The University of Toledo
    • , Teresa BenkoAffiliated withDepartment of Geography and Planning, The University of Toledo
    • , James CossAffiliated withDepartment of Geography and Planning, The University of Toledo
    • , David CzajkowskiAffiliated withDepartment of Geography and Planning, The University of Toledo
    • , Subramania SritharanAffiliated withInternational Center for Water Resources Management (ICWRM), Central State University
    • , Krishnakumar NedunuriAffiliated withInternational Center for Water Resources Management (ICWRM), Central State University
    • , Stanislov NikolovAffiliated withDepartment of Geography and Planning, The University of Toledo
    • , Jason WitterAffiliated withDepartment of Environmental Sciences, The University of Toledo
    • , Alison SpongbergAffiliated withDepartment of Environmental Sciences, The University of Toledo

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Abstract

This chapter describes the development and use of a geographic information system (GIS) in an environmental health investigation of the application of Class B biosolids (sewage sludge) on agricultural fields. The research project is broad-based including field observations and modeling to investigate the presence of microorganisms, metals, and pharmaceutical and personal care products (PPCPs) in biosolids applied agricultural fields and the associated runoff. These data has been linked with remote sensing imagery and added to GIS layers for Wood, Lucas and Greene Counties in Ohio. Specifically, this project describes the way in which a GIS was developed and utilized with a mailed, epidemiological health survey to investigate the potential impact of biosolids application to agricultural fields in relation to self-reported human health symptoms, acute diseases and chronic diseases among groups of individuals living specified distances from fields where biosolids were permitted and applied. For Wood County, of the 24 symptoms in the survey, six were statistically higher near biosolids permitted fields and of the 29 diseases in the survey, five were statistically higher near biosolids permitted fields. The Lucas and Greene County surveys are still being analyzed. Our future work includes refinement of the spatial analysis and health survey to include the application of biosolids and the constituents of the biosolids to fields, distances to any farm field and to other potential relationships to health effects.

Keywords

Epidemiology Biosolids Agriculture Pharmaceuticals and Personal Care Products Heavy Metals Human Pathogens