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New high-detail atlas offers tool to explore local environment and health
Date:4/24/2014

number of cases for an area compared to the average for England and Wales - as a long-term average. The risks have been 'smoothed' to adjust for chance fluctuations that can occur when there are small numbers of cases especially for cancers such as leukaemia and brain cancer.

Alongside health risk maps, the online atlas provides a series of maps of four environmental agents: air pollution, agricultural pesticides, disinfection by-products in drinking water and sunshine duration. As neighbourhood-level environmental data were not available for all years, most agents are represented by data from 2000 or 2001.

Together with the maps the research team have produced contextual information on known risk factors for health conditions and a summary of current knowledge about possible association of health effects with environmental exposures.

"Maps are a powerful way to visualise data but each map tells its own story and has its own background," said Professor Paul Elliott, senior author and Director of SAHSU at Imperial College London. "We hope everyone who uses the atlas will have an informative and insightful experience but will also interpret the maps in the light of the additional information we provide including social and historical context."

By providing such a wealth of information at a local level, the atlas is likely to provoke a range of questions. The online atlas provides a series of FAQs for the questions that may arise from users that has been developed through user testing organised by Sense About Science.


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Contact: Franca Davenport
f.davenport@imperial.ac.uk
44-020-759-42198
Imperial College London
Source:Eurekalert  

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