Mass DPH Health Study

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Introduction to the Mass BEHA "Logan Airport Health Study"

This page serves as an Introduction to the Massachusetts State sponsored "Logan Health Study". It consists of the sections listed immediately below. We recommend that on the first look, you peruse the entire page. Then you can jump to any section by clicking on one of the bookmarks below.  The main body of introductory information is based on the Winthrop Public Meeting of  6/28/00. Since that time, significant work has been done by the DPH/BEHA. To find the latest developments, go the Logan Health Study News on the Airhealthwatch Home Page.

Background
Winthrop Geography

Legislative Language
Actions of the Bureau of Environmental Health Assessment
About the Bureau of Environmental Health Assessment
Winthrop Public Meeting 6/28/00
Logan Health Study Community Advisory Committee
(This leaves this page)

Background
The Great and General Court of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, also known as "The Massachusetts Legislature", during its 1999-2000 session, ordered that $150,000 be allocated to a study of the impact of Logan Airport on the health of surrounding communities. Because the budget year runs from July 1 through June 30, the money would be available, pending final budget approval, no earlier than July 1, 2000, for the fiscal year 2000-2018. The legislative action was in response to the Winthrop Health Study, efforts by Winthrop elected officials, and the health concerns of many communities in the vicinity of Boston, Massachusetts.

Winthrop Geography
It may be useful to understand the geography of Winthrop, especially its proximity to Logan Airport. 
To view a map of Greater Boston surrounding Logan Airport, click here, or click the "Wide Area Map" button in the navigation bar at the top of the page. 
To view a more detailed map, showing the communities within a five mile radius of Logan Airport, click here, or click the Five Mile Radius Map button in the navigation bar at the top of the page.

Legislative Language
The language of the bill which allocated the funding is extremely important. This is what it says (italics added by us for emphasis):
"$150,000 shall be expended for the purpose of the Director of Environmental Health Assessment to conduct an environmental health assessment of the health impacts of the General Lawrence Logan Airport on any community that is located within a five mile radius of the airport and is potentially impacted by said airport.

The assessment may include but not be limited to, examining incidences of respiratory diseases and cancers and performing medical and laboratory tests and examinations of residents on said communities."

Actions of the Bureau of Environmental Health Assessment
In response to the legislation, the BEHA began the planning process to initiate the Health Study in early 2000, in anticipation of the funding being available in July 2000. At the request of the Winthrop AIR Environment-Health Committee, several meetings between the BEHA and the the Winthrop AIR EHC occurred. One of the results of those meetings was the Public meeting held in Winthrop on June 28, 2000. The BEHA continued to work on the development of the Logan Health Study, leading to the first meeting of the Logan Health Study Community Advisory Committee (This link leaves this page).

About the Bureau of Environmental Health Assessment.
The BEHA is part of the Massachusetts Department of Public Health. To access the Mass  DPH web site, click here.

To access the BEHA web site, click here.

A question asked during the Winthrop Public Meeting 6/28/00 inquired about the enforcement authority of the BEHA. It should be noted that the BEHA DOES NOT have regulatory authority or jurisdiction to enforce any future recommendations, but does have an excellent record of causing change. Examples include the work done in the Cape Cod cranberry growers dealing with the military reservation, and in the analysis of the Mass Department of Motor Vehicles building, which was eventually evacuated. 

Winthrop Public Meeting 6/28/00
The Mass BEHA participated in a public meeting in Winthrop 6/28/00. The purpose of the meeting was to:

  • Inform Winthrop of the status and approach to a State sponsored Health Study.
  • Solicit input from the Winthrop Community.

The meeting was chaired by John Dowd, a member of the Winthrop Board of Health, and a member of the AIR EHC. The BEHA was represented by Suzanne Condon, the Director of the BEHA, Teresa Cassidy, head of BEHA Community Assessment, Dr. Bob Knorr, head of BEHA environmental epidemiology, and Elaine Krueger, head of BEHA  environmental toxicology. Director Condon was the chief presenter. Also attending were the AIR EHC, and about sixty Winthrop citizens and town officials.

The meeting consisted of Ms. Condon's presentation, followed by an informative Q&A session.

A video tape of the meeting is available. To get a copy of the video tape, please contact us.

Staying Up to Date
As information becomes available, it is presented on the following web pages. To access the most current information, click below, or click on one of the buttons in the navigation bar at the top of the page. 
Logan Health Study News
Logan Health Study CAC

Mass DPH Health Study Plans
Mass DPH Health Study Design

Mass DPH Health Study Timetable, and
Mass DPH Health Study Status
Mass DPH Health Study Outlook

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