The Ramapough Lunaape Nation: Facing Health Impacts Associated with Proximity to a Superfund Site

Gabriella Meltzer, Oyemwenosa Avenbuan, Fen Wu, Krina Shah, Yu Chen, Vincent Mann, Judith T. Zelikoff

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

This study aimed to evaluate self-reported exposure to the Ringwood Mines/Landfill Superfund Site in relation to chronic health outcomes among members of the Ramapough Lunaape Turtle Clan nation and other local residents of Ringwood, New Jersey. Community surveys on personal exposure to the nearby Superfund site, self-reported health conditions, and demographics were conducted with 187 members of the Ramapough Lunaape Turtle Clan Nation and non-Native Americans residing in Ringwood, New Jersey from December 2015 to October 2016. Multiple logistic regression was performed to assess the association between ethnicity and a Superfund site exposure score developed for this study, as well as between exposure score and several chronic health conditions. Native Americans were 13.84 times (OR 13.84; 95% CI 4.32, 44.37) more likely to face exposure opportunities to Superfund sites as compared to non-Native Americans in the same New Jersey borough. For the entire surveyed cohort, increased Superfund site exposure routes was significantly associated with bronchitis (OR 4.10; 95% CI 1.18, 14.23). When the analyses were restricted to Native Americans, the association between self-reported Superfund site exposure and bronchitis remained significant (OR 17.42; 95% CI 1.99, 152.45). Moreover, the association between greater exposure score and asthma in this same population also reached statistical significance (OR 6.16; 95% CI 1.38, 27.49). This pilot study demonstrated a significant association between being a Ringwood resident of Native American ethnicity and self-declared opportunities for Superfund site exposure. It also showed a strong association between self-reported Superfund site exposure and the prevalence of bronchitis and asthma.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1196-1204
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Community Health
Volume45
Issue number6
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2020

Keywords

  • American Indian/Alaska Native
  • Chronic disease
  • Environmental exposure
  • Ramapough Lunaape
  • Superfund

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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