The Louisiana Department of Health /Office of Public Health/Section of Environmental Epidemiology and Toxicology (LDH/SEET) is dedicated to our state’s wellbeing. Louisiana has numerous chemical, oil, and gas industries located along the Mississippi River and in underserved communities and ranks high in per capita production of hazardous wastes and releases. LDH/SEET is dedicated to improving health equity in Louisiana through development of strategies to support those disproportionately impacted by adverse environmental outcomes. Fence-line communities in Southeast Louisiana along the Mississippi River’s “Industrial Corridor” often consist of minority, low income residents. Residents have environmental justice concerns that facility emissions increase their cancer incidence and poor respiratory health outcomes. Twenty-seven Louisiana sites are listed on the US Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) National Priorities List (NPL) as Superfund sites. Socioeconomic disparities exist related to the state’s industrial operations, with communities of color exposed to higher levels of emissions than their White counterparts. Louisiana constantly ranks poorly in health measures, including COPD, low birth rates, and cancer deaths. An increase in public awareness related to environmental releases has resulted in a greater demand for LDH/SEET to investigate these releases. LDH/SEET’s goals are reduction of exposures, mitigation of potential health effects, and engaging the community in protecting themselves against harmful exposures. The purpose of this proposal is to continue and expand the Louisiana program addressing environmental health issues at ATSDR-designated petition sites; sites on EPA’s NPL, CERCLIS list, RCRA list, or Brownfields directory; and non-EPA and non-petition sites referred by the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality (LDEQ). This occurs through identification and assessment of exposure to hazardous chemicals and by decre
asing or eliminating these exposures through proactive programs to inform knowledge, behavior, and process and policy changes. LDH/SEET will identify health concerns and will develop and implement public health interventions, including preparation of Public Health Assessments (PHAs), Health Consultations (HCs), or Letter Health Consultations (LHCs), as appropriate; health education and training; and Technical Assists (TAs) to document rapid response to community concerns or activities undertaken following a release event. CSPECE program goals are to protect children in ECEs from exposure to harmful chemicals through education of childcare professionals and by providing guidance to prospective operators for siting early care and education (ECE) facilities.