Question: What options are available for pollution/health models?

stevie is asking a question about general
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by stevie | August 03, 2018 14:02 | #16848

Question shared by Mike Ewall of Energy Justice Network

"Have any of you used pollution/health models where you can plug in the emissions data from a facility -- and probably local population info -- and come out with projections on how many people will die prematurely, suffer from additional asthma attacks, heart attacks/strokes, or other health outcomes? If there's something like that I can use, which isn't more complicated than I can handle, that would be super useful in some of my work right now."


Mike shared this question on Facebook, and received the following answers:

  • Stefania Thomas:
    • Reply by Matt Krogh: The doctors group where I live (Whatcom County, WA) found BenMAP to be useful when analyzing the human health impacts of a proposed massive coal terminal. Not sure if it was only facility point analysis, or if they were also able to do corridors where rail travel impacts folks.
    • Reply by Mike Ewall: Wow. Learning this program is a beast. It looks like it's the right tool, but I'd need to talk to someone who actually uses it. The novel-length user guide and other "help" materials aren't cutting it. I'm bumping into errors in the very first steps. Do you know anyone who uses this?
  • William Huston: Talk to Sandra Steingraber. I remember her advocating for an HIA Health Impact Assessment, which she called the Gold Standard for such predictions. She was advocating for one of these during the GEIS hearings on fracking in NY.
  • Bobby Mitchell: CALPUFF/CALMET has been used in West Virginia.,,,,
  • Bryan Berman: Not exactly what you're looking for, but might help for somethings. You can make graphs/ analyze trends of almost anything you'd want. It takes data from a ton of different sources, but you can't plug in specific data and make predictions from it. Maybe check the EPA's website for that
  • David Hutchins: I saw your question shared on Public Lab. EPA risk assessment tools are fairly straightforward but require manual calculation. The only modeling software they offer (as far as I know) is the IEUBK model for lead. It takes a number of variables and predicts blood-lead levels. I'm sure there are other proprietary models that incorporate other contaminants, but not public domain like the IEUBK.

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