Study Design Considerations for Evaluating Community Health Effects of Hazardous Waste Incinerators

Charles E. Feigley
Caroline A. Macera
Carlton A. Hornung
Daniel T. Lackland

DOI: 10.2190/3X3T-HRFK-7MQ5-EC7J


Incineration is an increasingly employed option for treating hazardous waste, but possible health effects of hazardous waste incinerator emissions in surrounding communities have received only cursory investigation. Two approaches for assessing such effects, risk assessment and environmental epidemiology, are described and compared. Risk associated with hazardous waste incineration has been assessed previously based on generic emission data. Little is known regarding emissions from specific incinerators and their temporal variations. Thus, an epidemiologic approach was chosen here, partially because it is robust with respect to uncertainties in exposure estimates. Study design concepts and their application to an existing hazardous waste incinerator are discussed.

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