Terry on Oct 5th 2010
Community members have asked a central question: “Is it safe to live in Richmond?” Residents in Richmond have raised concerns that environmental exposures might have caused their health problems such as breast cancer, sore throats, asthma, rashes, other cancers, and children with developmental delays. NDCA seeks to build on the momentum of existing health studies to benefit the residents near industrial sites of environmental health concern in Richmond.
The National Disease Clusters Alliance was formed out of the urgent need to identify and address emerging disease clusters. We are made up of a unique cross-section of representatives ranging from advocates, academia, government agencies, scientists, researchers, and other non-profit organizations. We connect communities, academia, and government to obtain a faster and more effective response to disease clusters and exposure hotspots.
We seek to reduce health disparities suffered disproportionately by communities of color by reducing their higher burden of environmental exposures. We offer technical assistance to communities to increase their knowledge of the causes of disease, responses to disease cluster concerns, and their capacity to address them. When residents become engaged and educated they are able to act swiftly to protect themselves.
In March 2010 NDCA began a joint effort with three existing environmental justice organizations active in Richmond. West County Toxics Coalition lead by Dr. Henry Clark has been active in the area for decades. Communities for a Better Environment have already been active connecting researchers with community members in Richmond. The Asian Pacific Environmental Network brings environmental expertise to the table and knowledge of several Asian languages.
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