June 4, 2012
Redlands, CaliforniaEsri today announced the release of My Place History 2.0, an updated version of the original unique iPhone and iPad application that provides personalized access to the Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) from the United States Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) database across the United States. The My Place History 2.0 application features the recent TRI data and allows users to review vital environmental information from around the country.
Users can also store in the application a permanent list of all places they have lived or worked, which in turn links these places to the TRI database. The link allows the application to create a shareable report that inventories the specific toxic releases reported within three miles of the users' addresses.
"This application is useful in helping people understand the potential link between public health data stored in one database [toxic releases] and their individual places of residence or employment," said Bill Davenhall, Esri's global manager of health and human services. "There is a great deal of data collected to benefit public health. Unfortunately, this information seldom gets into the hands of the health-seeking consumers presenting symptoms to their physicians."
In 2009, more than one-third (11,700) of residential ZIP Codes, 27 percent (5,300) of cities, and more than 50 percent (1,500) of all counties in the United States contained toxic releases recorded in the database released by EPA. No state escaped a toxic release reporting site in the 2009 TRI data. The TRI database contains the geographic location (latitude and longitude) of the more than 525 chemicals known to be hazardous to human health.
Most agricultural uses of chemicals and automobile emissions are not required to be reported. EPA's toxic materials reported in My Place History are essentially those from manufacturing processes only. EPA has been collecting this type of data since 1983.
Applications like this are just the start of how society (patients and physicians) will benefit from the greater use of geographically relevant information and geographic information systems—a process Davenhall has coined geomedicine. Other data layers featured in the application are Dartmouth's Health Atlas and regional Medicare heart attack rates.
Download the My Place History application from the Apple Store now.
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