Degree Name

MSEH (Master of Science in Environmental Health)


Environmental Health

Date of Award


Committee Chair or Co-Chairs

Phillip R. Scheuerman

Committee Members

JoAnne Walker Flowers, Vincent Sikora


The Saltville Waste Disposal Site is a National Priority List site used during the 77- year operation (1895–1972) of an electrolytic chlorine and caustic soda plant. A cross-sectional study was conducted to determine disease prevalence among Saltville Medical Center (SMC) patients. Diseases associated with chronic exposures to mercury, arsenic, and lead were reviewed in patient records and these data were analyzed. Ratios of illness observed at the SMC were compared to health studies of similar environmental exposures and disease prevalence among residents of neighboring communities. Prevalence ratios were calculated for residents and non-residents of Saltville who were SMC patients. Saltville residence accounted for a higher risk of developing the targeted diseases (odds ratio=1.68, 95% confidence interval (1.54, 1.82)). Increased risk was among patients aged 31-45 years; with a history of smoking; and family history of the same disease.

Document Type

Thesis - unrestricted


Copyright by the authors.