BOX 7.3

Data Access and Spatial Analysis of Environmental Contamination, Kolding Town, Denmark

Poulstrup and Hansen (2004) used GIS and exposure assessment to investigate the spatial relationship between malignant cancer incidence and exposure to airborne dioxin (Figure 7.2), as a test of the utility of using spatial analysis techniques to assess health effects in a population exposed to environmental contamination. The ability to apply such techniques was dependent on the availability of health and demographic data at the appropriate scale. Health data were derived from the Danish Cancer Registry on an individual basis. The demographic data described each address location (with accuracy to a few meters) and the date of birth, sex, migration (into, out of, and around the area), and date of death for individuals at these addresses.

FIGURE 7.2 GIS output showing spatial relationship between three dioxin sources (red dot), airborne exposure model results (yellow/pink shading), and cancer occurrences (yellow dots) in Kolding Town, Denmark. The green dots are addresses that have been geocoded with Universal Transverse Mercator coordinates with a precision of a few meters and which are associated via Denmark’s Central Population Register with each individual’s date of birth, sex, migration (into, out of, and around the study area), and date of death.

SOURCE: Poulstrup and Hansen (2004).



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