Assessing environmental exposure to PCBs among Mohawks at Akwesasne through the use of geostatistical methods

Author Name: 
. Hwang, S. A., Fitzgerald, E. F., Cayo, M., Yang, B. Z., Tarbell, A. and Jacobs, A.
Publication Date: 
Thursday, September 9, 1999
Private File Attachment: 
In the next two articles, of mild interest, notice that Hwang takes lead research role and you will also notice Fitzgerald who worked with him and gained his own academic fame, amongst others. In Hwang et al 1999, the interesting twist is that the research team took the approach of using geographic information systems data (GIS) to gain mapped residential information and environmental sampling data and uniting it so that it can assist in exposure assessment for epidemiologic studies. Simply put, the researchers used GIS data to discover how much PCB contaminants were inside reservation soil and learn the total human effects depending on where the spot of soil sample was located. According to Hwang (page 4) their data was taken from older surveys…” encompassed approximately 40 documents and consisted of over 8000 records. Each record contained information on the type of contaminant (e.g., PCB, PAH, PCDD/Fs), type of medium (e.g., soil, water, wildlife), location description and/or coordinates, concentration, detection limits, and various other relevant fields of information.” End quote. Making a door-to-door survey and handing out a questionnaire obtained residential information. To find older residential data, USGS surveys were accessed from the archive. Data on soil samples, surveys, questionnaire data is included in this Hwang et al paper. Graphs explicitly showing soil sample triangulations and Voronoi Polygons are shown. Knowledge of mathematics may be necessary to fully comprehend and enjoy this paper. Overall one should take this paper as a proof of the existence of PCBs in Mohawk soil, and a great sign of how GIS could be incredibly useful to environmental research.