Paper No. 4
Presentation Time: 3:30 PM
EARTH SCIENCE INPUT FOR EVALUATING SPATIALLY-DISTRIBUTED MESOTHELIOMA RISK FACTORS ASSOCIATED WITH ENVIRONMENTAL EXPOSURES TO ERIONITE AND OTHER ELONGATE MINERAL PARTICLES
An interdisciplinary group of health and earth scientists is evaluating approaches to determine whether exposures to erionite and other environmentally-occurring elongate mineral particles (EMP) increase the risk for diseases such as mesothelioma, which have been most typically associated with asbestos exposures. One approach applies statistical analyses to explore links between diverse gesospatial, earth, and health science data sets. This presentation summarizes datasets and information that we are evaluating for their use in developing proxies of environmental exposure to EMPs. These datasets include, for example: the USGS National asbestos occurrence database (Van Gosen and Clinkenbeard, 2011, USGS OFR 2011-1188, and references therein); a recent update on US erionite occurrences (Van Gosen et al. 2013, Environmental Geochemistry and Health); outcrop areas of rock types with known EMP occurrences or geologically permissive to host EMPs; vegetation cover and type; meteorology data on wind direction and speed; dust generation potential; soil type; locations of roads surfaced with EMP-containing gravels; land use; locations of human activities that disturb the land surface; and data on locations of industries where commercial asbestos was processed or used in commercial or industrial applications. Our presentation will also describe how these diverse data sets are being integrated using geographic information systems to derive polygons weighted for EMP exposure potential. A companion presentation (Weissman et al., this symposium) describes available National and State epidemiological databases of county-scale mesothelioma occurrences, and explains how these data sets may be integrated with the exposure potential information. This work was conducted as a part of the Erionite Working Group supported by the John Wesley Powell Center for Analysis and Synthesis, funded by the US Geological Survey.