Small Area Investigations
Although the California Birth Defects Monitoring Program does not routinely analyze data from small areas such as zip codes or census tracts, we have developed a protocol to respond to specific community concerns about the environment.
The protocol looks for hallmarks seen when an environmental agent has been found to cause birth defects:
The protocol will uncover major birth defects problems, but generally cannot determine if environmental conditions are causing birth defects. For this, sizeable studies with accurate exposure information are needed.
Steps for evaluating small areas include: