Residential health near major construction projects: unexplored hazards

Rev Environ Health. Jan-Mar 2008;23(1):75-81. doi: 10.1515/reveh.2008.23.1.75.


Few studies have been made of the impact of major construction on the health of nearby residents. We conducted a feasibility study in one zip code (02111; Chinatown, Boston, MA, USA) in which four large buildings (20-30 stories) were built between 1999 and 2004 and adjacent to which a major highway construction project was in progress. Information about major construction project start and end dates were obtained from a variety of sources. Three sets of health data--emergency department and mortality-were obtained from the Massachusetts Department of Public Health for the years of 1998 - 2004. We used ICD-9 and ICD-10 disease codes to aggregate selected pulmonary and cardiac-related categories that could reasonably be expected to be aggravated by air pollution released from construction sites, including diesel and dust, and noise and vibration. We propose that larger-scale studies are possible and needed using approaches similar to ours.

MeSH terms

  • Air Pollutants / toxicity
  • Environmental Exposure / adverse effects*
  • Environmental Monitoring
  • Epidemiological Monitoring
  • Facility Design and Construction*
  • Heart Diseases / epidemiology*
  • Heart Diseases / etiology
  • Humans
  • Lung Diseases / epidemiology*
  • Lung Diseases / etiology
  • Noise / adverse effects
  • Particulate Matter / toxicity
  • Small-Area Analysis
  • Vibration / adverse effects


  • Air Pollutants
  • Particulate Matter