Population-based Analyses of Health Risks Associated with Residence in Montana Past & Present Mining Communities

Document Type


Publication Date



Results of two sequential NIEHS Superfund studies about metal exposures and neurodevelopmental outcomes will be summa-rized, as they pertain to the metal exposures in Montana. These studies developed improved methods for cluster identifi-cation of outcomes, identification of threshold levels of expo-sure, and a process for physiologically based extractions to as-sess bioavailability of metals. Two studies will be presented about the health effects of residence in Silver Bow (SB) and Deer Lodge (DL) counties, due to their proximity to Superfund cleanup and active mining. The first project used population-based mortality data between 2000 and 2016, and it suggests remediation is modestly effective with elevated mortality that has been decreasing over time. The second project compared the incidence of cancer in these counties to the rest of the state in 2001-2015. The cancer types had previously been shown to be associated with the metals present in DL and SB. The analysis indicates increased risk for liver, colorectal, and brain cancer, when stage was not considered.

Streaming Media


Dr. Suzanne McDermott is an epidemiologist Profes-sor at the University of South Carolina School of Public Health. She applies epidemiology, biostatistics, and health services research methods to analyze large datasets with the power to answer questions about risk factors for dis-ease. Dr. McDermott is co-editor of the Disability and Health Journal. She has over 130 peer reviewed publica-tions and is leading three active grants funded by the CDC. She recently completed a project that involved soil sam-pling, cluster analysis, and disease risk associated with Su-perfund sites in South Carolina.