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Background: Several epidemiological studies have shown an increased risk of health problems among population living close to landfills. We evaluated the impact of a municipal solid waste disposal site on children’s growth between 0-3 years of age.
Methods: Children were selected in sites likely to receive dispersion of air compounds from the waste disposal site and also in a control area, in Cali, Colombia, in 2005. Anthropometric measures were obtained at enrollment and in two follow-up visits at 3 months intervals to obtain standardized z scores of weight for height (WHZ) and height for age (HAZ). In addition, questionnaires including information of socio-economical conditions and morbidity were applied at enrolment and during follow-up visits.
Results: Children exposed had on average 0.16 less standard deviations (SD) in WHZ scores when compared to control group (95% Confidence Interval [CI]: -0.34, 0.01). Among those who have lived >50% of their life in the study area, a significantly lower HAZ score was observed (-0.12) associated with exposure. Our data also suggest a larger effect of exposure to the waste disposal site in WHZ among children with symptoms of respiratory disease than among asymptomatic children (p=0.08).
Conclusions: Exposure to this waste disposal site was found associated with lower children’s growth indexes.

Carmen Elisa Ocampo, Universidad del Valle

Group Epidemiology and Population Health (GESP), School of Public Health, Health Faculty, Universidad del Valle, Cali, Colombia.

Alberto Pradilla, Universidad del Valle

Group Nutrition. Health Faculty,Universidad del Valle, Cali, Colombia.

Fabián Méndez, Universidad del Valle

Group Epidemiology and Population Health (GESP), School of Public Health, Health Faculty, Universidad del Valle, Cali, Colombia.
Ocampo, C. E., Pradilla, A., & Méndez, F. (2008). Impact of a waste disposal site on children physical growth. Colombia Medica, 39(3), 253–265. https://doi.org/10.25100/cm.v39i3.593

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