A UCLA research team has received a five-year, $21 million grant from the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health to study the health consequences of the 2015–16 Aliso Canyon gas leak disaster.
A multidisciplinary team of scientists, public health experts and health care practitioners will study the devastating gas blowout, which was the largest underground gas storage facility disaster in U.S. history. Over a period of nearly four months, an estimated 109,000 metric tons of methane, oil and gas constituents were released into the atmosphere.
At the time, roughly 232,200 people lived within a five-mile radius of the facility, which is in the northwest San Fernando Valley. Residents reported foul odors and oily mists and said they experienced a range of symptoms, including headaches, nausea, vomiting, nose bleeds, coughing and irritation of the eyes, nose and throat.
The study’s principal investigators are Michael Jerrett, a professor of environmental health sciences at the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health, and Honghu Liu, chair of the section of public and population health at the UCLA School of Dentistry and a professor at the Fielding School and the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA.