Hazards for nearby residents and cleanup workers of waste sites

J Paul Leigh, Alan Hoskin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


This study weighs the risks to workers of cleaning up Superfund sites against the risks to residents if the sites were not cleaned up. Risks are measured by the number of deaths and disabilities due to injuries and diseases, as well as by the costs of these deaths and disabilities. We posit three methods to clean up the sites: one that is labor-intensive and two that are not. We posit 24 hypothetical sites, with varying numbers of residents and levels of cancer death and cancer disability rates. Depending on the cleanup method, the number of residents, and the rates, we find that the risks to workers frequently outweigh the risks to residents. We conclude that risks to workers should be accounted for in Environmental Protection Agency judgments regarding which and how Superfund sites should be cleaned up.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)331-348
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 1999

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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