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P Saber, Jefferson School of Population Health, Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia, PA


Historically, in public health research, there is a lag time in finding a causal relationship between technological advancements as sources of environmental exposures and health impacts. Residents near unconventional shale gas development, specifically the Marcellus Shale region, have made claims that environmental exposures associated with the technology are impacting their health. These residents voluntarily contact the Southwest Pennsylvania Environmental Health Project (SWPA-EHP) about their environmental health concerns. Air pollution, specifically particulate matter 2.5 (PM2.5), has been suggested as one harmful negative outcome for residents. One health consequence of particulate matter exposure is cardiovascular disease. The purpose of the capstone project was to complete a secondary data analysis to evaluate a subset of cases of residents in the Marcellus Shale region. The objective was evaluating the contribution of a surrogate for indoor PM2.5 exposure to an individual’s cardiovascular risk. Individual health survey information for these residents was collected by SWPA-EHP, and indoor air quality information self-collected by the residents and submitted by the residents to SWPA-EHP. A subset of cases that were selected by the SWPA-EHP to highlight the need for further attention had been used in the capstone project. The data set included 12 residents in three towns in southwest Pennsylvania: Finleyville (n=7), Clearville (n=3), and Daisytown (n=2). Clinical risk factors were evaluated of individual’s cardiovascular risk and environmental exposure through a surrogate for their mean indoor 24-hour PM2.5 exposure. Amongst the 12 residents, only one resident had a high global cardiovascular risk. In addition, no household had self-collected surrogate indoor air PM2.5 levels that exceeded the EPA primary PM2.5 ambient air standard. The PM2.5 levels amongst the cases have a low contribution to the individuals overall clinical cardiovascular risk. These findings increase the understanding and clinical utilities of available air quality measurements for medical and public health professionals.

Presentation: 25 minutes