Rural Public Health Policy Models to Address an Evolving Environmental Asbestos Disaster
Article first published online: 22 DEC 2008
© 2009, The Authors. Journal Compiliation © 2009, Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
Public Health Nursing
Volume 26, Issue 1, pages 70–78, January/February 2009
How to Cite
Kuntz, S. W., Winters, C. A., Hill, W. G., Weinert, C., Rowse, K., Hernandez, T. and Black, B. (2009), Rural Public Health Policy Models to Address an Evolving Environmental Asbestos Disaster. Public Health Nursing, 26: 70–78. doi: 10.1111/j.1525-1446.2008.00755.x
- Issue published online: 22 DEC 2008
- Article first published online: 22 DEC 2008
- environmental health;
- health care access;
- rural public health policy
ABSTRACT The health-related dangers of asbestos exposure were recognized early in the 20th century when occupational exposure was found to be associated with excess pneumoconiosis among asbestos industry workers. Today, the epicenter for examining the public health effects and the human toll that this toxin has had on a population is located in the rural community of Libby, MT. Rurality and multideterminants of health frame both the history of asbestos-related disease and the service/policy challenges within a community dealing with chronic illness and designation as a Superfund clean-up site. Despite efforts by public health advocates to address the lingering aftermath of an environmental disaster in this community, policy gaps exist that continue to impact the population's health. The purpose of this paper is to describe the history and outcomes of asbestos exposure in a rural community and discuss 3 models that provide public health policy insights related to rural health and health care for a community affected by both a sentinel and ongoing environmental event.