Approaches to systematic assessment of environmental exposures posed at hazardous waste sites in the developing world: the Toxic Sites Identification Program
- 861 Downloads
In the developing world, environmental chemical exposures due to hazardous waste sites are poorly documented. We describe the approach taken by the Blacksmith Institute's Toxic Sites Identification Program in documenting environmental chemical exposures due to hazardous waste sites globally, identifying sites of concern and quantifying pathways, populations, and severity of exposure. A network of local environmental investigators was identified and trained to conduct hazardous waste site investigations and assessments. To date, 2,095 contaminated sites have been identified within 47 countries having an estimated population at risk of 71,500,000. Trained researchers and investigators have visited 1,400 of those sites. Heavy metals are the leading primary exposures, with water supply and ambient air being the primary routes of exposure. Even though chemical production has occurred largely in the developed world to date, many hazardous waste sites in the developing world pose significant hazards to the health of large portions of the population. Further research is needed to quantify potential health and economic consequences and identify cost-effective approaches to remediation.
KeywordsHazardous waste sites Developing world Risk assessment Children's health
Toxic Sites Identification Program
Hazard ranking system
Initial site screening
Short Message Service
- US EPA
US Environmental Protection Agency
The Toxic Sites Identification Program is supported by the European Commission, the United Nations Industrial Development Organization, Green Cross Switzerland, and the Asian Development Bank. Dr. Caravanos serves on the Technical Advisory Board to the Blacksmith Institute. Dr. Philip Landrigan serves without compensation on the Blacksmith Advisory Board, as well as its Technical Advisory Board.
- Fewtrell, L. J., Fuge, R., & Kay, D. (2005). An estimation of the global burden of disease due to skin lesions caused by arsenic in drinking water. Journal of Water and Health, 3(2), 101–107.Google Scholar
- Johnson, B. L., Hicks, H. E., Cibulas, W., Faroon, O., Ashizawa, A. E., De Rosa, C. T. (2008). Public Health Implications of Exposure to Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCBs). Available at: http://www.atsdr.cdc.gov/dt/pcb007.html#ABSTRACT. Accessed 11 October 2011.
- Kushner, L. M. (1986). Hazard ranking system issue analysis: sites with unknown waste quantity, report MTR-86W83. McLean: Mitre Corporation.Google Scholar
- National Research Council (NRC). (1994). Ranking hazardous-waste sites for remedial action. Washington: National Academy Press.Google Scholar
- Perera, F., Wang, S., Vishnevetsky, J., Zhang, B., Cole, K. J., Tang, V., Rauh, D., Philips., D. H. (2012). PAH/aromatic DNA adducts in cord blood and behavior scores in New York City Children. Environmental Health Perspectives (in press).Google Scholar
- Prüss-Ustün, A., Vickers, C., Haefliger, P., & Bertollini, R. (2011). Knowns and unknowns on burden of disease due to chemicals: a systematic review. Environmental Health, 10(9).Google Scholar
- Rio-Chivardi, J. M. D., Berber, A., Sienra-Monge, J. J. L., Rosas-Vargas, M. A., Baeza-Bacab, M., et al. (2006). Asthma prevalence in children living in north Mexico City and a comparison with other Latin American cities and world regions. Allergy and Asthma Proceedings, 27(4), 334–340.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Schwartz, J. (1994a). Societal benefits of reducing lead exposure. Environmental Progress, 66(1).Google Scholar
- The World Bank. (2010). Country classifications. Available at: http://data.worldbank.org/about/country-classifications. Accessed 22 June 2010
- Tornheim, J., Morland, K., Landrigan, P., & Cifuentes, E. (2007). Association between type of primary water source and prevalence of diarrheal disease in Bolivia. Epidemiology, 18(5), S103–S104.Google Scholar
- US Environmental Protection Agency. (2011). Superfund: Basic Information. http://www.epa.gov/superfund/about.htm. (Accessed 3 October 2011).
- Zaragoza, L. J. (1990). Cutoff Score Analysis for the Revised Hazard Ranking System (HRS) Docket, U.S. Environmental. Protection Agency Memo to HRS Docket. 105NCP-HRS-18-18. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Washington, DC.Google Scholar