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Environmental Deterioration and Disease in the Middle Rio Grande Valley: An Investigation of the Linkages at Household Level

Richard C. Jones


The high costs of rapid growth in the fragile environment of the Middle Rio Grande Valley of Texas and Mexico have become more evident in recent years. This study investigates the relationships between selected diseases and a wide range of site and situational factors for 2,140 households located in the environmentally strained colonias of Laredo-Nuevo Laredo, Eagle Pass-Piedras Negras, and Del Rio-Ciudad Acuña. The results suggest that gastrointestinal and neurological/degenerative diseases are related to situational factors, such as family behavior and family size, as well as proximity to polluted watercourses, industry, and agriculture. Policy implications include the separation of residences from pollution sources (in Mexico), and the improvement of public health and drainage (in the United States).

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Print ISSN: 0886-5655
Online ISSN: 2159-1229