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Saturday, May 03, 2008

GIS Used for Detecting Childhood Cancer Clusters Near Hazardous Waste Sites in Florida

An article by Dr. Greg Kearney in the May 2008 issue of the Journal of Environmental Health has detailed how Florida GIS data was used for analysis purposes in detecting childhood center clusters near hazardous waste sites throughout Florida.

Per Dr. Kearney's research process:

"To investigate this public health concern, the author used the spatial-scan statistical software SaTScan to detect childhood cancer clusters and their proximity to National Priority List (NPL), or Superfund, sites in Florida. In the ecological study reported here, "most likely" clusters were defined as those with a p-value of <.05. Distance served as a proxy for exposure; a geographical information system (GIS) was used to determine the number of clusters within a predetermined distance of an NPL site. Spatial clusters were found to occur randomly throughout the state, with most clusters being identified in the more populated counties, and clusters less likely to occur near an NPL site."