Health study targets major California rail yard

The study will include reporting on environmental health risks, and surveys of respiratory diseases and health issues among children and adults. Researchers are hoping to determine if there is a higher asthma and fatal cancer rate in the surrounding community by studying 1,200 randomly selected households in three concentric zones around the rail yard. They will also test lung capacity, lung strength, indoor and outdoor air quality, and other health markers in children at an elementary school near the rail yard and compare the results to students at a control school.

The new study will rely on interviews and health measurements taken by specially trained community outreach workers who live in the area and have the trust of the residents, most of whom are low-income and Spanish-speaking.

To read the full Associated Press article by Gillian Flaccus and Noaki Schwartz click here.

Southern California air-quality regulators are sponsoring an in-depth study to determine if the San Bernardino Rail Yard, a major inland hub of goods shipped across the U.S., has caused an increase in cancer and asthma in the neighboring low-income communities.

The study comes two years after the California Air Resources Board determined that diesel emissions from locomotives, big-rigs and other equipment at the facility posed a significant health risk to thousands of residents living near the site, and that the facility posed the greatest cancer risk of any rail yard in California.

To read the full LA Times article by Phil Willon click here.