Dioxin-Contaminated Chicken Environmental Health Disaster Scenarios. Michelle Lee Urbano & Madeleine Kangsen Scammell
Boston Neighborhoods Summer 2004 92 Students (14yrs – 18 yrs) 30 Middle School 69% Female; 31% Male 62 High School 62% Female; 38% Male 64% Black or African American 14% Latino 13% Asian 2% White 7% Multiracial
Youth to Health Careers (Y 2 HC) Summer Collaboration School-Based Health Program Adolescent Wellness Parochial School-Based Health20+ BPHC Programs
Youth to Health Careers (Y 2 HC) Summer Enrichment Program Summer Objectives: Increase knowledge of health career professions –Primary Care –Public Health –Allied Health –Complementary Health Introduce young people to public health issues, concepts and practices Provide academic enrichment
Youth to Health Careers 2005 Summer Enrichment Program Statistics 553 Applications Requested 182 Applications Returned 153 Eligible Applications –92 Stipends Available 62 High School Participants (Rising 10 th - 12 th ) –51 Returning Students –11 New Students 30 Middle School Participants (Rising 9 th ) – Point of Entry
Youth to Health Careers (Y 2 HC) Sample Outcomes By the end of 7 weeks, students will… Differentiate between the four areas of health care… Describe eight types of health care facilities… Describe 5 health careers… Identify 4 body systems and their functions. Describe 3 major diseases and… Demonstrate taking vital signs… Complete a draft of a college essay. Sign Up for one After school Program. Define Advocacy - name 3 ways to improve access to health care. Recommend 1 approach on how to reduce/eliminate health disparities. Etc…
Goals of Scenario Demonstrate public health in action Identify who is involved in public health (e.g., farmers, concerned residents, regulatory agencies, policy makers, scientists,) Introduce Dioxin (a chemical commonly found at Superfund sites and relevant to current Massachusetts legislation)
Goals of Scenario, cont. Raise awareness about food, the food industry and food safety (particularly chicken) Apply risk assessment skills
DURHAM- What appears to be a mass poisoning has affected poultry farms across the states of Alabama, Georgia and North Carolina, with an estimated loss of over 100,000 chickens. According to a grower, the chickens acted very strangely for the last several days and “wouldn’t go near their feed.” Fred Pucker, CEO of PuckerUp Poultry Inc., which contracts the farms where the poisoning occurred, refused to be interviewed. The Alabama Department of Public Health is investigating the outbreak to determine the risk this poisoning may pose to human health. Poultry is a major industry in the South. The Massachusetts Times Nation | World Widespread chicken contamination
Two-Headed Chickens in Alabama! July 2005 This week’s mass chicken poisoning resulted in over 100,000 mutated chickens, some with two heads, five legs, and one with three wings. When PuckerUp Poultry, Inc. discovered these reproductive abnormalities, the company immediately killed all chickens on their farms in the states of Alabama, Georgia and North Carolina. Employees are concerned that the same thing will happen to their children. PuckerUp Poultry, Inc. bought its feed, which is believed to have been contaminated with dioxin, from the PuckerUp exclusive contractor, Feed The World, Inc. located in Munchie, Alabama. PuckerUp is the largest producer of meat and poultry in the US, with over $24 billion in sales in 2003. They ship their poultry across the US where it is sold at nearly every major supermarket chain in the country.
Scenario Each table represents the State Department of Public Health in Massachusetts. You must make decisions abou the following questions: Is it safe to eat PuckerUp Poultry? Should poultry products on the shelves in supermarkets across the State remain on the shelves, or be recalled and disposed of?
People to interview: Fred Pucker, CEO, PuckerUp Poultry Alabama Department of Public Health US Food & Drug Administration Concerned Resident of Massachusetts Dioxin Scientist
What is Dioxin? 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin Formed by burning things, especially plastics made with oil and chlorine. Pollution in the environment comes from waste incinerators and paper mills which use chlorine to bleach paper.
Why Dioxin? Research Needs Identified by EPA: “The toxicity of dioxin at Superfund sites is a critical science issue…. Superfund must continue to make risk assessment and remediation decisions at dioxin contaminated sites and would appreciate research results that could be used to make/support those decisions.” http://www-apps.niehs.nih.gov/sbrp/about/about6_s3.cfm
Why Chicken? Poultry consumption a huge source of protein for many Americans. It is an extremely concentrated industry, and can be sold cheaply. Environmental justice: majority of chicken growing and processing facilites are in the South This really happened
1999 Belgium -sudden drop in egg production -reduced egg hatchings -reduced weight of chicks -increased mortality of chicks -neurological problems
Some Consequences… France quarantined 70 poultry farms European Union destroyed suspect poultry, pork and beef. Dozens of countries scrambled to keep Belgian food off supermarket shelves.
Other Scenarios West Nile Virus: To Spray? or Not to Spray? Obesity: Vending Machines? or No Vending Machines?