Public Health Assessment (PHA)
ATSDR continues to develop the PHA. The PHA investigates whether outdoor air pollutants along Refinery Row are at levels that could cause harm to residents’ health in nearby neighborhoods. The PHA will recommend ways to protect people’s health if harmful chemical levels are found.
- During the last two years, ATSDR has gathered data from stationary and mobile outdoor air monitors in the Corpus Christi Refinery Row area. We have air data from the mid-1990’s through the end of 2010, and we are putting this information into an electronic database. The database will allow us to:
- Analyze chemical levels with the most advanced statistical methods
- Analyze weather data (ex., wind speed, wind direction) to see if there are trends that may impact people’s health in the Refinery Row area
- As part of our PHA report, ATSDR reviewed data from the Texas Department of State Health Services Asthma Control Program, Birth Defects Registry, and Cancer Registry to help determine indications of increased illness in the Corpus Christi Refinery Row area.
- Age-adjusted asthma hospitalization rates were examined for Nueces County and San Patricio County compared to all of Texas.
- The occurrence of birth defects in the offspring of mothers living in the vicinity of Refinery Row was compared to Corpus Christi areas further away.
- The occurrence of cancer in the vicinity of Refinery Row was examined using standardized incidence ratios and corresponding 99% confidence intervals for males and females.
- The next step in our PHA investigation — after analyzing chemical, weather, and health outcome data — is to look at current toxicological information to address community concerns about exposures to chemicals in the outdoor air.
- Community members can expect to see a public comment version of the PHA with our findings in the Summer of 2013. The long wait for a PHA report can seem frustrating, but good science takes time, and we believe the residents of Corpus Christi deserve the best work we can produce. Everyone in the community will have the chance to review the PHA report and comment on the results. We will do our best to address all comments and make sure they are in the final PHA report.
Health Promotion helps people, by way of awareness and knowledge of environmental health and other public health issues, have more control over their own health. ATSDR, community leaders, local physicians, and residents have met a number of times to discuss their health concerns.
- On July 28, 2012, we participated in the 47th Annual Health Fair in Corpus Christi. The Nueces County Medical Society and Alliance organized and sponsored the Health Fair as a public service for the Corpus Christi community and surrounding area. Each year, thousands of people attend the Health Fair to take advantage of the free health screenings, education, training, and entertainment provided by the many exhibitors. As one of the exhibitors, ATSDR discussed our ongoing activities at our booth called “Environmental Public Health”.
- From June 14–16, 2011, ATSDR worked with many local partners and held workshops in Corpus Christi to address environmental, safety, and health issues of concern to the community. The workshops entitled "It's All about Your Health" covered the following topics:
- Preventing Exposure to Hazardous Substances
- Practical Tips for a Safe and Healthy Home
- Emergency Evacuation and Safety Planning
- Oral Health for Children and Adults
- Healthy Eating on a Budget