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Toxic waste sites cause healthy years of life lost
Date:5/3/2013

NEW YORK -- May 4, 2013 /Press Release/ Toxic waste sites with elevated levels of lead and chromium cause a high number of "healthy years of life lost" in individuals living near 373 sites located in India, Philippines and Indonesia, according to a study by a Mount Sinai researcher published online today in Environmental Health Perspectives.

The study leader, Kevin Chatham-Stephens, MD, Pediatric Environmental Health Fellow at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, presented the findings today at the Pediatric Academic Societies (PAS) annual meeting in Washington, DC. "Lead and hexavalent chromium proved to be the most toxic chemicals and caused the majority of disease, disability and mortality among the individuals living near the sites," said Dr. Chatham-Stephens, first author.

The study titled, "The Burden of Disease from Toxic Waste Sites in India, Indonesia, and the Philippines in 2010," was a joint research partnership between Mount Sinai and the Blacksmith Institute. Eight chemicals were sampled and collected at the toxic waste sites in 2010. The samples were then measured for pollutant levels in the soil and water and then compared with the 8,629,750 individuals who were at risk of exposure around these sites in order to calculate the loss of years of equivalent full health.

Researchers calculated healthy years of life lost due to ill-health, disability or early death, in disability-adjusted life years (DALY), a measure of overall disease burden used by the World Health Organization. One DALY represents the loss of one year of equivalent full health. In this study, the total number of lost years of full health or DALYs was 828,722. In comparison, malaria in the same countries caused 725,000 lost years of full health, and outdoor air pollution caused 1.4 million lost years of full health in 2008, according to Dr. Chatham-Stephens.

"The number of DALYs estimated in our study potentially places toxic
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Contact: Renatt Brodsky
Renatt.Brodsky@mountsinai.org
212-241-9200
The Mount Sinai Hospital / Mount Sinai School of Medicine
Source:Eurekalert

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