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What's Involved in Evaluating Health Outcome Data?

If people in the community are coming into contact with chemicals from the site under investigation in a way that could cause them to become ill, the public health assessment team might decide that a health outcome data evaluation could be useful in helping make decisions about follow-up health actions.

A health assessor may use the following steps in conducting a health outcome data evaluation.

Identify and obtain relevant, existing health outcome data

Characterize the limitations of health outcome data

Evaluate health outcome data

Present results of the evaluation


What should community members know about health outcome data?

	icon_community Members of communities near hazardous waste sites frequently believe that a large number of illnesses in a community proves that chemicals from the site are making people sick. Health outcome data do not show the cause of a disease. Also, health outcome data have never been collected for a lot of the common illnesses that people are concerned about, such as multiple sclerosis or Alzheimers.

Analysis of health outcome data cannot connect a disease with a site. Health outcome data evaluations can only be used to help make decisions about additional investigations.

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