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clinmed/2000080009v1 (August 29, 2000)
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Using Land Use History to Identify Public Health Risks

Dale A. Stirling

Since the mid-1980s, environmental site investigations have been used to minimize environmental liability associated with real property transfers. The most important element of these investigations is site history research. Although these investigations have been used to delineate potential soil and surface and ground water contamination, standard historical sources used in this process may also be used to delineate potential human health hazards. This paper describes how to conduct site history research, provides recommendations for communicating the findings, and suggests that site history research may be useful in providing baseline information for human health risk assessments. When coupled with readily available toxicological data, peer-reviewed literature, and toxicological profiles and fact sheets, site history research may be an important tool in communicating health risks of contaminated property to the public.





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