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Last Edited: 3/18/2008

A Study of current residents' knowledge of a former environmental health survey of their community
Written: 07/01/92


A follow-up survey of current residents who live near the McColl waste disposal site was conducted to assess community knowledge of an environmental health survey that occurred in the same neighbhorhood seven years earlier.  Of the 193 eligible adults who participated in an interview (response rate 73%), 35.8% reported having heard of the 1981 health survey; 48% of these (n=33) reported hearing or seeing the results of the survey.  Knowledge of the earlier survey was reported by 34.6%, 40.6%, and 35.7% of the respondents in the high-exposure, low-exposure, and comparison areas, respectively.  Recall was significantly associated with older age, college education, and residence prior to 1981. 

Our findings suggest that both long-term and recent residents in the study areas know about the McColl waste-disposal site, but the majority of current residents in this sample do not know that the health of the community was assessed in 1981 and that no serious health effects associated with the site were identified.  Further efforts to communicate findings of similar health studies whould focus on individuals who have less education and on communication with residents who move into an area after a study has been conducted.  Creative public participation and media relations should be developed to assure that the results of such studies reach the public. 

Environmental Health Perspectives

Suggested Citation

  • Lipscomb JA, Goldman LR, Satin KP, Smith DF, Vance WA, Neutra RR. A study of current residentsí knowledge of a former environmental health survey of their community. Archives of Environmental Health 1992; 47(4): 270-273.