Environmental Exposures and Hematologic Cancers in Upstate New York

Danielle Rhubart, Pennsylvania State University

Exposure to benzene can lead to the development of blood and bone marrow (i.e. hematologic) cancers in humans, including Leukemia. Physical science research on the deleterious effects of benzene exposure is substantial. Social science research suggests that some types of benzene exposure are inequitably distributed across the population. Using spatial analytic techniques and proprietary data from the New York State Department of Health SPARCS system, data on hazardous waste sites from the EPA, pesticide use data from the New York Department of Environmental Conservation and county level smoking rates, I examine the association between spatial exposure to benzene and age-, race-, and sex-specific zip-code level counts of leukemia in upstate New York. Preliminary findings suggest that for all standardized groups, the amount of pesticides per square mile is positively associated with higher counts of Leukemia. Other significant findings are reported within specific segments of the population.

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Presented in Poster Session 5: Adult Health and Mortality