A Procedure for Detecting Childhood Cancer Clusters near Hazardous Waste Sites in Florida

By Kearney, Greg | Journal of Environmental Health, May 2008 | Go to article overview

A Procedure for Detecting Childhood Cancer Clusters near Hazardous Waste Sites in Florida


Kearney, Greg, Journal of Environmental Health


Introduction

For obvious reasons, a childhood cancer cluster located near a hazardous waste site is a serious public health concern. Despite extensive studies conducted over the past 20 years, little supporting evidence has been found to suggest an association, and the etiology of childhood cancers remains relatively unknown (Caldwell, 1990). Nevertheless, the perception of living near a hazardous waste site can raise fear and concerns. According to a Princeton survey of 801 registered voters in Florida, 89 percent felt that environmental factors such as pollution and toxic wastes played a significant role in causing diseases. Approximately 34 percent of parent voters with young children felt that childhood cancers such as leukemia were linked to environmental factors such as hazardous waste sites (Princeton Survey Research Associates, 2000). In addition, cluster inquiries usually involve local or state public health offices and require them to respond. Researchers at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health found that 95 percent of state health departments surveyed (N = 37) reported having a cancer cluster investigation or inquiry. Of the states included in the survey, 81 percent reported brain cancer as the most common type of cancer cluster inquiry followed by leukemias, lymphomas, or both (72 percent) (Juzych et al., 2007).

To explore the issue of cancer clusters near hazardous waste sites, the author used a geographic information system (GIS) and spatial-scan statistical software, SaTScan (Version 6.0) to spatially and temporally detect the geographical location of childhood cancer clusters near U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA) National Priority List (NPL) sites in Florida (U.S. EPA, n.d.). The NPL sites were chosen because they are considered the worst-of-the-worst hazardous sites in the nation.

Background

SaTScan is a software tool developed by the National Cancer Institute for cluster detection and can be downloaded at http://www.satscan.org/. SaTScan can work by any of the following methods: a) evaluate reported spatial or space-time disease clusters and determine if they are statistically significant, b) test whether a disease is randomly distributed over space, time, or space-time, c) perform geographical surveillance of disease, d) test geographical areas of significantly high or low rates, and e) perform repeated time-periodic disease surveillance for the early detection of disease outbreaks (NCI, 2004). The program uses a circular window filter that scans over a map, smoothing out the data while analyzing for clusters. The circular windows are generated around geographical centroids, or central longitude/latitude coordinates of polygons projected on a map. Using this software, the author detected childhood cancer clusters and estimated their proximity to an NPL site using a geographic information system (GIS).

Methods

Cancer case records were identified from confidential data retrieved with Institutional Review Board (IRB) approval from the Florida Cancer Data System (FCDS) (FCDS, n.d.). The study period was January 1, 1990, through December 31, 1999. The case definition included any resident of Florida who was between 0 and 19 years of age at the time of diagnosis and who was diagnosed with a new primary cancer or reportable condition during the study period. The childhood cancer cases included those with a primary diagnosis of selected leukemias, lymphomas (not including Hodgkin's lymphoma), brain cancer, or central nervous system (CNS) cancer. As indicated in Table 1, the cancer types were determined by the International Classification of Diseases code (ICD-0-02) and the International Agency for Research on Cancer, International Classification of Childhood Cancers histology codes (IARC, 2003).

A comprehensive list of NPL sites was located on the U.S. EPA Web site (http://www.epa.gov/superfund/sites/query/basic.htm). …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

A Procedure for Detecting Childhood Cancer Clusters near Hazardous Waste Sites in Florida
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.