Environmental question

Gas leak: A pesticide manufacturing factorylocated in a densely populated mountain town of 150,000 people accidentally released a poisonous gas cloud due to a failure of a safety valve on a storage tank. Luckily, the release occurred at night when no workers were at the factory, and scrubbers intercepted some of the escaping gas, but a mixture of chemicals escaped. Emissions of methyl isocyanate were measured in a range of 30 miles from the factory.

Identify at least two relevant agencies that would be involved in this disaster response and their respective roles, in brief.

Characterize the likely environmental contamination resulting from the disaster. Be sure to describe environmental fate, transport, and persistence, where applicable.

Identify the population at risk of exposure. Are there any susceptible/sensitive populations of concern?

Choose one possible environmental exposure from your provided disaster scenario that has the potential to impact human health. Describe how this exposure would be measured in the population at risk. Be sure to consider characteristics of the exposure (e.g., in both the environment and via biological media).

What might be an appropriate study design to determine whether this exposure is related to excess morbidity or mortality in the population, and why?

Part 2: Measures of Association

The following 2 x 2 table represents a study of exposure X and disease Y relating to your provided disaster scenario. Using the data in the table below, calculate the appropriate ratio measure of association for your chosen study design in Part 1 (in other words, calculate either the odds ratio or the risk ratio). Interpret the result in terms of the exposure you selected in Part 1 and a health endpoint plausibly related to this exposure.


Not Diseased





Not Exposed






(Choose one and provide interpretation)

Odds ratio:

Risk ratio:


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