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Journal of Environmental and Public Health
Volume 2009 (2009), Article ID 316249, 16 pages
Research Article

A Critical Assessment of Geographic Clusters of Breast and Lung Cancer Incidences among Residents Living near the Tittabawassee and Saginaw Rivers, Michigan, USA

Advanced Geospatial Analysis Lab, Department of Geography and Environmental Resources, Southern Illinois University, 1000 Faner Drive, MC 4514, Carbondale, IL 62901-4514, USA

Received 25 February 2009; Accepted 2 September 2009

Academic Editor: Habibul Ahsan

Copyright © 2009 Olga A. Guajardo and Tonny J. Oyana. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Objectives. To assess previously determined geographic clusters of breast and lung cancer incidences among residents living near the Tittabawassee and Saginaw Rivers, Michigan, using a new set of environmental factors. Materials and Methods. Breast and lung cancer data were acquired from the Michigan Department of Community Health, along with point source pollution data from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The datasets were used to determine whether there is a spatial association between disease risk and environmental contamination. GIS and spatial techniques were combined with statistical analysis to investigate local risk of breast and lung cancer. Results and Conclusion. The study suggests that neighborhoods in close proximity to the river were associated with a high risk of breast cancer, while increased risk of lung cancer was detected among neighborhoods in close proximity to point source pollution and major highways. Statistically significant clusters of cancer incidences were observed among residents living near the rivers. These findings are useful to researchers and governmental agencies for risk assessment, regulation, and control of environmental contamination in the floodplains.