California Department of Public Health logo: three likenesses of people colored blue, green, and orange  
Last Edited: 3/28/2008

Report on the Stringfellow Health Effects Studies
Written: 07/01/86

The Stringfellow Acid Pits is a former industrial waste disposal facility five miles northwest of Riverside, CA, near the community of Glen Avon.  During its operation from 1956 to 1972, more than 30 million gallons of liquid industrial waste were deposited at the site.  

The Stringfellow Health Effects Study was conducted by researchers from the UCLA School of Public Health, and compared the health of current residents in an area most likely to have been exposed to runoff and air pollution from the site with that of residents in an area less likely to have received exposure from the site, and a third area considered to have been unexposed.  The study found that current residents of the area most likely to have been exposed have not experienced a significant excess of any major health problem.  Differences among these areas for cancers and deaths were not statistically significant.  Rates for adverse pregnancy outcomes (miscarriage, birth defects, etc.) were all slightly below rates usually reported for these problems.  Children's blood samples tested for toxic chemicals known to have been dumped at the site showed no measurable levels of PCB or DDT, and only low levels of DDE that were similar in the three areas.  

Residents closest to the site reported more complaints of health problems than did the comparison population.  Every one of the 24 symptoms included in the questionnaire was reported more often by the closest residents.  This suggested that respondents in the area may have tended to over-report these subjective symptoms, as it would be unlikely for a chemical exposure to induce such a wide variety of unrelated symptoms.  

Suggested Citation

  • Epidemiological Studies and Surveillance Section. Report on the Stringfellow Health Effects Studies. California Department of Health Services, July 1986.