Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2012, 9(8), 2894-2909; doi:10.3390/ijerph9082894
Article

Epidemiologic Methods Lessons Learned from Environmental Public Health Disasters: Chernobyl, the World Trade Center, Bhopal, and Graniteville, South Carolina

1 Department of Global Environmental Health Sciences, Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, Tulane University Health Sciences Center, ENHS SL-29, 1440 Canal St., Suite 2100, New Orleans, LA 70112, USA 2 Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, University of South Carolina, Columbia, SC 29208, USA 3 Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing, Emory University, Atlanta, GA 30322, USA 4 Rollins School of Public Health of Emory University, Atlanta, GA 30322, USA 5 Bureau of Occupational and Environmental Epidemiology, State University of New York-Albany, Albany, NY 84870, USA 6 Radioecological Center of the National Academy of Sciences, Kiev 04050, Ukraine 7 Department of Biological Sciences, University of South Carolina, Columbia, SC 29208, USA 8 South Carolina College of Pharmacy, University of South Carolina, Columbia, SC 29208, USA and Hollings Cancer Center, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston SC 29403, USA
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 18 June 2012; in revised form: 18 July 2012 / Accepted: 8 August 2012 / Published: 16 August 2012
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Preparedness and Emergency Response)
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Abstract: 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.
Keywords: environmental health; epidemiology; accidents and injuries; chemical safety; occupational health

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MDPI and ACS Style

Svendsen, E.R.; Runkle, J.R.; Dhara, V.R.; Lin, S.; Naboka, M.; Mousseau, T.A.; Bennett, C.L. Epidemiologic Methods Lessons Learned from Environmental Public Health Disasters: Chernobyl, the World Trade Center, Bhopal, and Graniteville, South Carolina. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2012, 9, 2894-2909.

AMA Style

Svendsen ER, Runkle JR, Dhara VR, Lin S, Naboka M, Mousseau TA, Bennett CL. 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. 2012; 9(8):2894-2909.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Svendsen, Erik R.; Runkle, Jennifer R.; Dhara, Venkata Ramana; Lin, Shao; Naboka, Marina; Mousseau, Timothy A.; Bennett, Charles L. 2012. "Epidemiologic Methods Lessons Learned from Environmental Public Health Disasters: Chernobyl, the World Trade Center, Bhopal, and Graniteville, South Carolina." Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 9, no. 8: 2894-2909.

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