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University of Pittsburgh Academic Partner for Excellence in Environmental Public Health Tracking
RACER (Rapid Assessment and Characterization of Environmental Risks) Investigator: Gary Marsh, PhD Research Specialist: Michael Cunningham, MS
It is important to assess the ability of data linkage and analysis techniques to detect potential associations between a hazard and a health effect within the context of the Environmental Public Health Tracking Network. RACER is a new software tool designed by researchers in the Departments of Epidemiology and Biostatistics that enables public health officials and others to evaluate the appropriateness and feasibility of conducting health tracking activities or targeted epidemiological investigations of possible health risks from environmental exposures. The current version of RACER (version 1.0-beta) has been uploaded to the internet, allowing free and convenient access to the program and its capabilities. Version 1.0 – beta has been designed to analyze three commonly encountered environmental risk scenarios. In Scenario 1, a source of environmental exposure is identified in a population along with estimates of exposure-level health risks. In Scenario 2, a number of health outcomes have been observed in a population over time in communities near a suspected source of environmental exposure. Scenario 3 addresses situations where a suspected source of environmental exposure exists, but the proportion of individuals exposed and the risks due to the exposure are unknown. For each scenario, RACER provides tabular or graphical output of various statistical analyses for exposure-related subgroups over time, such as the expected numbers of events, statistical power, and minimum detectable relative risk.
Gary Marsh and Michael Cunningham, MS. 2009. Rapid Assessment and Characterization of Environmental Risks (RACER). Tracks2009: The Future of Environmental Public Health Conference. February 2009. Washington DC. [PPT]
RACER Analysis Tool (Sample Application for Beta Testing) [DOC]