Assessing the Spatial Distribution of Perfluorooctanoic Acid Exposure via Public Drinking Water Pipes Using Geographic Information Systems.


Vieira, V; Hoffman, K; Fletcher, T; (2013) Assessing the Spatial Distribution of Perfluorooctanoic Acid Exposure via Public Drinking Water Pipes Using Geographic Information Systems. Environmental health and toxicology, 28. e2013009. ISSN 2233-6567 DOI: https://doi.org/10.5620/eht.2013.28.e2013009

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Abstract

OBJECTIVES Geographic Information Systems (GIS) is a powerful tool for assessing exposure in epidemiologic studies. We used GIS to determine the geographic extent of contamination by perfluorooctanoic acid, C8 (PFOA) that was released into the environment from the DuPont Washington Works Facility located in Parkersburg, West Virginia. METHODS Paper maps of pipe distribution networks were provided by six local public water districts participating in the community cross-sectional survey, the C8 Health Project. Residential histories were also collected in the survey and geocoded. We integrated the pipe networks and geocoded addresses to determine which addresses were serviced by one of the participating water districts. The GIS-based water district assignment was then compared to the participants' self-reported source of public drinking water. RESULTS There were a total of 151,871 addresses provided by the 48,800 participants of the C8 Health Project that consented to geocoding. We were able to successfully geocode 139,067 (91.6%) addresses, and of these, 118,209 (85.0%) self-reported water sources were confirmed using the GIS-based method of water district assignment. Furthermore, the GIS-based method corrected 20,858 (15.0%) self-reported public drinking water sources. Over half (54%) the participants in the lowest GIS-based exposure group self-reported being in a higher exposed water district. CONCLUSIONS Not only were we able to correct erroneous self-reported water sources, we were also able to assign water districts to participants with unknown sources. Without the GIS-based method, the reliance on only self-reported data would have resulted in exposure misclassification.

Item Type: Article
Faculty and Department: Faculty of Public Health and Policy > Dept of Social and Environmental Health Research
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PubMed ID: 24010064
URI: http://researchonline.lshtm.ac.uk/id/eprint/1229476

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